So today is my second Taxol infusion. We are definitely “regulars” at the infusion center. When one of the computers started its chant, we knew what it was saying, and what to do about it. If you listen carefully, you can make out that it is saying “low power, low power, low power” … so when it started, I sent Scott off to plug in the offending device so it didn’t drive us (and everyone around us) crazy. We are now set up with a table, so that we can both sit here an type away at our computers – which helps immensely with the passing of time. The blue glow on the top of my bald head is amusing!
In the gap between blood draw and my infusion, we walked over to my tree for a picture.
We had a few extra minutes, so I laid down on a pile of wood nearby and watched the world go by. It is sunny out, with a nice cool breeze. It really is too bad that we cannot do treatment outdoors – perhaps under a tent. They could set up a nice outdoor treatment area in one of the various wooded fields nearby. That would be pretty amazing – I’d definitely opt for outdoor infusions! Anyways, I took a snapshot of my view as I was laying down enjoying a brief time in the outdoors. Interesting that as I looked up there were three different kinds of trees in my view!
The treatment regime I’m on is weekly Taxol for 12 weeks. So, I have infusions every Monday until November 17th (if all goes well). Taxol is also sometimes given as biweekly (once every two weeks) for 4 cycles. That type takes less time and requires fewer trips to the infusion centre, but it also has more side effects. So, I opted for the less convenience but also less side effect variety. In theory the side effects that I experience after the first cycle will be less severe over the next cycle. We’ll see how that goes!
When they start taxol, there are often allergic reactions. The allergic reactions are to the preservative used in the Taxol rather than the taxol itself. So, a taxol treatment begins with pre-meds (IV Benedryl, Decadrone (steriod), and pepsid). I mostly notice the pepsid as it calms my stomach when it it given. Each of the pre-meds takes 10 minutes. After all the premeds are given, we wait for 30 minutes for them to take effect. The taxol itself will eventually take 1 hour, but for the first couple they do a slower drip (the nurse follows you carefully to ensure there is no reaction). So, I expect to be in the infusion area for about 3-hours once everything gets started.
Last week, my labs indicated that my red blood cells, hematocrit, and hemoglobin were low. Last time they were this low, I had a transfusion. Throughout this week I also felt more tired / fatigued than I did through my last round of AC. So, I’m now waiting to hear from the doctor to find out what if anything we are going to do about it. I’m looking forward to having my energy back!