Tag Archives: Texas Oncology

Let it Snow, Let it Snow…..Let it ICE

Here we are, Taxol treatment 7 of 12. Total chemo treatment 11 of 16. Well past that halfway point!

This past week has been much of the same. Extreme fatigue, constipation, sleeplessness, and body aches. The severity of each symptom changes cycle to cycle. I met with the awesome Nurse Practitioner today, Christine, and added a lot of good information to my brain.

My lab work showed that my blood counts are down, but not horrible….in the 5 range. Just a smidge under normal. I am a slight bit anemic, but other than that the labs all looked “normal”. They looked fine for someone on chemo.

So onto what I learned….Magnesium….It does a LOT. We talked about each issue I was having; sleeplessness, constipation, muscle aches, elevated blood sugars due to the steroids; magnesium can help all of those issues! I had no idea. As a possible fix, she is giving me extra fluids as well as 1 mg magnesium at infusion. It does add an hour to my time here, but if it helps, I’m game. In addition, I will be taking, nightly, over-the-counter magnesium as well as a larger dose of melatonin. The magnesium should help my muscles relax and the melatonin to help me fall asleep and stay that way through the night. She said that it will also help lower my blood sugar levels. Doing all of these things things and increasing my daily fluids should help me feel much better from here on out.

Update on the neuropathy. I do have some numbness in the tips of my fingers and toes. No real pain, but we want to make sure it doesn’t get worse. I will be continuing to ice my hands and feet while the chemo is being infused.

Finally, I want to again thank everyone for their love and support. Daily, my heart gets a dose of encouragement through those reaching out to me to check on me. In addition, food comes at just the right times and those surprise gifts in the mail mean so much. I would not be where am I doing as well as I am without all of your support and prayers.

As to the title of this post….It is COLD in North Texas. We had some freezing fog this morning that led to slick roads in the area and a major accident, (100 cars and at least five fatalities at this point). The next few days could get worse. But, sadly, in North Texas we rarely see snow. If we have a winter weather event it’s ice! Ice is scary and not something to mess around with. To all those actors the country dealing with this article blast, stay safe, stay warm, and stay home. ANd for me, I’m going to add stay inside. I am not a graceful person and I don’t want my family getting video of me sliding across the ice…even if it could win us 10K on America’s Funniest Videos!

I have added a few pictures below…..I am wearing gifts from head to toe! The hat from a sweet friend from high-school, Candace. The earrings from an awesome coworker, Emily (Smart Parts Crafts in Bedford!), The shirt from the Carlisles; in OKC and our extended family in Orlando, the bracelet for a fellow fighter who does chemo here at my clinic, and my comfy stretchy shoes from another coworker, Cammie. I love you all so much and wearing these items from you helps me remember all those fighting along with me!

Please ignore typos…..I am a bit groggy from the Benadryl going in. I will prof again when I get home!

What I Take to Chemo Treatments

One of the questions I had in the beginning of the chemo process what was I needed to take with me. The first treatment day I took so much!

Now, I am down to a small bag. I wanted to share what I believe is needed and the main reasons why.

To start off, ask your facility what is provided. Mine has blankets, have heated recliners,1 and some snacks. They offer protein shakes, gingerale, sprite, multiple fruits juices, and of course ice water. They also oftentimes have small snacks such as peanut butter or cheese crackers. All facilities are different, but from what I have seen in the support groups is that these are fairly common snacks offered.

A small snack and lots of fluids is critical even during the infusion process. You are in the infusion room for a while. Shorter treatments are a couple hours, like mine, but some can last all day. They do allow you to bro my food and meals, just ask their specific rules. Strong smelling food are discouraged because they can cause nausea for others close to you!

Comfortable clothes are important. Dress in layers! Be prepared to freeze or roast as you just never know. I typically end up wearing PJ pants and a TShirt. The jacket almost always comes off on the first few minutes! Fuzzy socks are great because your will be able to prop your chair up or some have you laying in bed and it’s nice to kick those shoes off!

As far as entertainment things to bring…I suggest one or two things to occupy your time. A book, crochet or knit project, or electronic device. For me, there is a lot going on around me with up to 24 patients in the room with you. I prefer to bring my iPad, pop my earbuds in, and drown out the noise around me. Most faculties will have free WiFi for patients. Ask them!

For those recovering Taxol, it is highly recommended you put ice on your hands and feet during treatment. They will offer ice packs but they are just ziplock bags and melt quickly. They also don’t cover the entire hand or foot, just fingers and toes. I suggest purchasing some before your treatments begin. They can be pricey, about $25 for each set, but O searched Amazon Marketplace and found both the hands and feet set for $15!

One final thing I will say is that getting as close to a window as possible will help relax you. I am grateful that my clinic had an entire wall of windows and I have gotten a chair beside it every time. (6 treatments)

That is basically all you need! The first time around I brought so many things to keep me entertained as well as a blanket. It was just too much! I now have a small-ish bag and everything I take fits in that one bag. So much more convenient! Below are some pictures I took today at my treatment. If you have questions, pop a comment below!

This blog is intended for information and awareness so please share with anyone you feel could benefit from raw and real experiences of my cancer journey.

God > Cancer