New Territory

Thursday was my first round of weekly Taxol and one of three doses of Carboplatin. When they ran my labs prior to treatment, my red blood cells and hemoglobin were dangerously low. She told me I needed a blood transfusion. Say what? That sounded serious to me and definitely caught me off guard. Fortunately they were still able to do my treatment so I didn’t have to miss that. But a blood transfusion? That seems like it’s for really sick people and I don’t feel that sick. I’ve gone to work, walked my dogs, etc. How could I need that? Doesn’t matter though, they know best and she said with the chemo added on top of low counts, I’d be in big trouble.

So Thursday I thankfully did get my scheduled dose of chemo. The pre-meds on taxol involve a giant bag of benedryl due to common allergic reactions. I fortunately had no reaction to the taxol but the benedryl knocked me out on the spot. I slept the full 4-5 hours or however long I was there. I can’t even remember Thursday night.

Friday morning we headed to the hospital for my transfusion. This was the kind where I simply receive blood but no blood leaves my body. I was confused at first because I thought transfusion was two-way and didn’t want to lose any of the chemo in my system. But they cleared that up for me.

The very first thing they injected into my port (after the dreaded flush) was….you guessed it…benedryl. I was out immediately. It took about 6 hours and I was given two units of blood. I slept through the entire thing.

Everyone kept saying how good you will feel after a transfusion. I kept waiting to feel like a rockstar. But I guess between the benedryl and chemo, i never got that boost. All I’ve done is sleep. I do feel a little more energetic today but still not ready for a marathon.

As a result of having the blood transfusion, I learned that the Red Cross has a shortage on blood. If you are able, allowed and willing, consider giving blood. I know not everyone is able for various reasons, but encourage your friends who can. Several of my friends already did in my honor and I thank them so much! I am so grateful to the donors whose blood I received and replenished my counts Friday. I’m fortunate enough to be O+ so I can take anyone’s blood.

All in all, despite the benedryl comas, this chemo has been much easier than AC. I don’t have as much of that chemical yuck feeling I had with AC. And no Neulasta…ahhh.

The thing I have to look forward to on taxol is darkened and possibly damaged nail beds. They are already sore – amazing how fast it happens. Not everyone loses nails but some do, so I’ll just have to work through it. I’m doing all I can to prevent it based on what I’ve read.

So if I can peel myself out of bed, I think I actually feel ok. Eating is still a challenge but I’m doing ok.

Hopefully the worst of this week’s treatment is behind me and I’ll be able to be productive the rest of the week.

My doctor warned me that this coming Thursday could very well be one of the days I cannot get my treatment due to my counts. So I’m prepared for it and am not going to fret over it. Going weekly will be harder on the weeks following Carboplatin.

Thanks again for all your love and support!

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7 responses

  1. Shelley’s courage continues to amaze me……launching the arrows, fighting the fight, eating when she doesnt like it or want it. She sets a high bar for the rest of us.

  2. Good morning Shelley, Know it’s been a tough week but glad you are feeling a little better. I guess your biggest hurdle now is finding something you can eat. If cornbread or cookies or beans or anything I know how to fix sounds good, let me know and it will soon be on its way to you. Lee and I think of you and Brent everyday and pray for your comfort and healing. Love you, Gail and Lee

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