“Vacation” is Over

My last chemo treatment was December 1st. That treatment marked the end of the first phase of chemotherapy. I was slated to have my new chemo medication done the 15th, bit I spoke with my doctor and we decided there would be no harm in holding off until after Christmas.

I am so glad we made that decision. The month of December is busy for most everyone, but when your family of five celebrates three birthdays in addition to Christmas, things get chaotic! This December brought Isaac turning 11, Chris having a birthday, Christmas, and Eli turning 2! I had no time for chemo!

Around mid-month I started feeling somewhat normal and the last few weeks were great. We had wonderful family time and I think we went nearly a week without even mentioning cancer or chemo. It was so nice and a much needed time of normalcy. But, alas, the cancer vacation has come to an end.

Tomorrow I start my next round of chemo. The “T” portion of AC-T. The medication itself is called Taxol.

My oncologist says it should be much easier on my body with the main side effect being fatigue. I am in several support groups and have seen a wide range of experiences. Most say they did fine while other had a harder time. There is no way of knowing how my body will react, but the prayer is I will handle it well and be able to function fairly normally! I do have steroids to take tonight and in the morning and will be given IV Benadryl just prior to the chemo infusion. I assume I will be very sleepy tomorrow as I sleep off the Benadryl.

I will be having 12 weekly infusions and then I will be completely done with chemo! This puts me finishing the Taxol by end of March as long as my blood counts don’t delay a treatment.

It has been a little over three months since diagnosis, but it feels much, much longer! I would like to believe that 2020 was the hard part of treatment, my mastectomy and four rounds of AC chemo “Red Devil”, and 2021 will bring better experiences and complete healing!

In addition to praying for little to no side effects from Taxol, please pray specifically that I do not develop neuropathy. That is one of the more severe things that can occur from taking Taxol. I will be icing my hands and feet during the infusion in an effort to prevent the chemo drugs from traveling to and settling into my hands and feet. We may not know for quite some time of neuropathy has set in. Some patients experience it while undergoing treatment and some months and years later. I think this is the only part that really makes me nervous.

I will leave you today with a few of my favorite pictures from the second half of December. I will follow up after the first round of Taxol to let you know how it went.

A few of the highlights. A lot of Eli. He is the star of the show almost always!

Things are Improving….

I wanted to jump on real quick and provide an update. The last few days were much the same, but tonight I feel things are on the uphill.

I am still having fatigue and some other issues, but those will continue to improve over the next few days. I have taken two days’ worth of the antibiotic and will continue the full seven-day course. Thank you to all the people who have reached out checking on me!

I also have an update on the next phase of treatment. I was scheduled to begin the Taxol portion of chemo next Tuesday, the 15th. The doctor gave the option of then skipping the week of Christmas and finishing the last 11 cycles the week following. I spoke with the nurse who then spoke with Dr. K and we will be putting the first cycle off until after Christmas. I am a bit torn on how I feel. I want to get this over with as soon as possible, but my body so much needs the rest. I am going to take the extra two weeks to build strength and prepare for the next phase!

Mastectomy Surgery – DONE

AC Chemo (Red Devil) – DONE

Taxol chemo and radiation are all I have left. It’s hard to believe that this journey only started four months ago…it feels like we’ve been battling for years…If it’s God’s will, it’s all uphill from here!

Lowest Numbers So Far

I went in this morning for my weekly lab work. I had a feeling my blood counts would be low because of the way I feel.

The last two or three days I have been very fatigued. My heart has been racing (not too abnormal for me) with a resting heart rate not going below about 110. I have had issues in the past but usually the heart races a while and calms down, not this week. I have also had more nausea and constipation than previous courses of chemo. I just all around don’t feel well.

The nurse called me around lunch and said that my white blood count was 0.7. Normal is between 4.5 and 11. I told the nurse that is the lowest it has every been. She asked how I was feeling and I explained my symptoms. A few weeks ago they had called in an antibiotic as a have around in case you need it type thing. The nurse said she would speak to Dr. K and determine if I needed to start the meds. A few hours later she called back and said to start the medicine and Dr. K wants to recheck my counts on Friday.

All I can say is that it has been and continues to be a hard week. I will make it through and not have to take that red Devil chemo ever again! So many have reached out this week to check on all of us and that is greatly appreciated.

I want to end today wishing my second-born a happy 11th birthday. Isaac, you are such a cool kid with such a huge heart. It is an honor to be your mom. I cannot wait to see what you accomplish this year and in the years to come!!!