Thursday, 13 November 2014

A Good First Week on Taxol

I can't believe how good I feel today.

Not just 'coping with everything well' but actually bouncingly, energetically, happy good.
It's easy to only post when problems surface so today I wanted to take a moment to remember that there are good days too: days like today when I was up early despite being home late last night after seeing Peter Gabriel live, saw friends, exercised and still feel full of fizz. 

Not bad for someone more than half way through their chemo.

Last week I started the first of nine weekly doses of Taxol - having been advised that my white blood cell count was too low to allow me to have Taxotere once every three weeks as planned.

I wasn't pleased to be faced with having chemo every single week but the first week of Taxol has gone pretty well.  I was surprised to suffer from mild, morning nausea the first few days as I didn't have any nausea with FEC but I guess that's the way it goes.  I was even more surprised to find my cheeks were burning all day the day after chemo but a quick Google confirmed that it's a reasonably common side effect (and not really a problem if you can ignore the sneaking suspicion that you've done something really embarrassing to merit your flaming cheeks).  And then the hot flashes in the night had me repeatedly throwing off the duvet and then pulling it back on as I froze five minutes later...just as well I've already opted to vacate the marital bed during chemo or I'd have driven my husband mad.

I had anticipated the aches in my legs and chest from day three, but they were no worse than the ache you feel after an over strenuous work out.  And finally, my fingers and toes started tingling which suggests that neuropathy (numb fingers and toes) will follow in later sessions. 
But, so far, nothing to stop me doing what I'd planned for a busy week.  So, overall, I think I'm glad to have escaped the 'Taxotere truck' as I've heard others describe the onslaught of Taxotere symptoms.  Of course, symptoms are cumulative and I have 8 sessions to go... but I'm taking one step at a time.

The best news came this morning when I went for my blood tests.  Last week, my white blood cell count was 1,100  - marginal even for Taxol (and too low for Taxotere), so I was sure that it would be lower still this week as there hadn't been much time for my body to recover from the last dose.  But it has actually doubled to 2,200!  It's still half a 'normal' white blood cell count which should be 4,500 but quite high enough to allow me to have my second dose of Taxol tomorrow.

One down, eight to go. 

So far so good.

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