It’s been a challenging but not horrible week since my final treatment of AC. I can’t express how glad I am to be done with the red devil! It really helps with the dread factor of going to my next treatment. Oh and did I mention no Neulasta shots? Ahhhh 🙂
The plan is I have 12 treatments left, beginning next Thursday, Jan. 16. I’ll go every week until April 3. Mentally, I feel more like I felt before my first treatment. Ignorance is bliss. I don’t know what to expect so I’m not expecting anything.
Taxol is the drug I will receive each week. It’s notably milder than AC, which is great. On my first, fifth and ninth treatment, I will receive my bonus drug of Carboplatin. According to my doctor, that will add some kick to how I feel after treatment, but I don’t mind because I feel so fortunate that the timing of this new research lined up exactly with my treatment plan. And I survived AC. I can handle this.
My doctor did warn me that with weekly treatments and the addition of the Carbo, I will likely have to miss a couple of my Taxol doses. My white blood cell count must be 1000 and my platelets must be 100 in order to receive a dose. If it’s not, I can’t get my treatment that week. She said I do not need to worry if that happens. The addition of Carbo trumps Taxol and is worth me missing a couple, if it happens. She told me if I do miss one, I don’t have to make it up. That made me happy. This way I truly know where the light is at the end of the tunnel. It’s sitting at April 3!
Speaking of low blood counts, I’m back to being neutropenic. This means my white blood cell count is below 1000. They want you to be between 4,500-10,000…mine is 400. Yikes. So, I’m back on antibiotics, crazy hand washing, no fresh fruit or veggies, avoiding crowds and running from anyone with as much as a sniffle. They said it won’t stay this low for long thanks to my Neulasta shot. Guess I need to be thankful for that painful drug instead of being glad I’m done with it. But I can be both, right?
In other side effect news, I have this weird issue with my hands and feet. Mostly my feet. They feel like they have blisters all over the bottom (but they don’t), and it’s very painful to walk. My hands sting and are ultra sensitive. This may or may not be neuropathy. They are baffled because neuropathy is one of the few side effects they don’t see with AC (regrettably it’s a very common side effect of Taxol, so that will be fun considering I’m already having issues on drugs that typically don’t cause it). On Thursday, they gave me the lowest dose of the drug used to treat neuropathy, Neurotin. They wanted me to try it for a week to see if it helps. I take it 3 times per day and I do think it’s already working. Such a weird and random side effect.
Other than that, I’m feeling good right now. I don’t have any appetite at all, and they basically told me I have to force myself to eat. So I am trying. Definitely not the healthy diet I need, but food is food right now.
I want to thank everyone again for all the gifts, cards, well wishes and prayers. I am VERY blessed but also VERY behind on my thank you correspondence, so please forgive me for my etiquette faux pas, but I will get to it, I promise! 🙂
I want to leave you with this article I found on triple negative breast cancer and the sensationalizing of the disease. Having a journalism degree myself, I really appreciate this writer’s approach to how reporters and researchers need to choose their sources and words very carefully. When you are faced with the reality of having an aggressive cancer, you cling to every bit of research you can find. When it’s bad, it’s really tough to read and accept. Googling triple negative makes it easy to believe the diagnosis is a death sentence. But it’s not. This article helps explain that and made me feel better! Enjoy 🙂