And so Paclitaxol (Taxol) has begun as have the hot flashes

By | September 2, 2014

It occurs to me that after next weeks infusion I will be half way through chemotherapy. I’ve finished what for most people is the worst of it, AC chemo, and am now on Paclitaxol (taxol for short).

Going into the infusion yesterday I was scared. I was afraid of the side effects of the new regime. I was afraid of going into a new type of chemo when I was not 100% better from the previous treatment. In all my rounds of AC chemo, I went into the next infusion ofter at least 2 days of feeling strong – usually after having gone on at least one bike ride over 90 minutes. Not this time, my longest ride this cycle was 40 minutes and that took everything out of me. The mouth sores proved to be the side effect that took the most out of me (even more than the low red blood cells).

I’m happy now that the mouth sores have almost healed. I swam yesterday – still not strong and my red blood cells are not at their finest (despite the transfusion two weeks ago) – but I’m getting back to myself. I work up this morning feeling almost normal. Coffee still doesn’t taste as good as I’d like it, but that might just mean I need to open up a new package of coffee beans!

More importantly, my brain is clear and I’m feeling physically good. I hope to get some work done today as I have an ethics proposal that is due on Thursday and requires a day or two for logistics of getting it printed and hand delivered in Ottawa – so if I can get it done today that would be awesome.

I’m very happy that I don’t feel the same fog that I felt after AC chemo. I have a little nausea, but not a lot. I’m fighting it to the same extent. I am paranoid about neuropathy, so every timing I feel a tingly in my feet I get concerned.

The one side effect I did feel during the infusion, and also afterwards, was hot flashes. I go from being comfortable of cold, to suddenly needing to rip off all extraneous layers of clothing and sweating. This can be problematic when I’m someplace where it might be inappropriate to take off my head scarf! I will need to invest in a little fan for my purse, for those moments when I’m in a restaurant or meeting and suddenly need to cool off.

I haven’t shared any pictures lately. Here is a picture of our Sunday walk along the bluffs at Wilder Ranch State Park (near Santa Cruz).

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And the requisite pre-chemo Becky leaning on her tree photo:

And a Scott and Becky selfie – notice how short Scott’s hair is? He had it shaved last Saturday!

2 thoughts on “And so Paclitaxol (Taxol) has begun as have the hot flashes

  1. Kathy

    So glad your feeling better. Hot flashes, aren’t they fun? I can symphazie with you. I’ve had them for a few years now. They do pass, I’ve tried Black Cohash, it’s a herb, but I’m not sure they really help. If the only side effect is hot flashes, be greatful, you’ve been through the worst. Love you lots and congrats on your publications.

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