Infusion-fatigue

By | Wed June 28, 2017

As I work through my research data coding, I’m having to read and re-read and re-read… the BCBecky blog posts from the beginning through February 3, 2015. Some of the posts are particularly emotional, as the memories come flooding back. In others, my memory of the time is totally different.

When reading about my chemotherapy experience, and especially the Taxol experience, I realized something that no one told us when we were making our decision about chemotherapy options. We decided on weekly taxol because we were told it had less side effects (smaller dose). Since we live close enough to the infusion center, we figured that anything that reduced the side effects was the better choice.

Looking back at it, I find that I wished I’d selected the chemo every 2-weeks (higher dose, but only 8 treatments rather than 12). At least I think that was the option – something like that. The key reason I wish I made the other choice was that I found that 1 week wasn’t giving me enough time to recover before the next infusion. But now, I have a different thought – perhaps what I was suffering from was infusion-fatigue.

I had read about patients experiencing surgery-fatigue, that is, not wanting to deal with yet another surgery, such that they delay or don’t complete reconstruction. That was part of why I opted for immediate nipple-sparing reconstruction – I managed to finish with only 3 surgeries. I didn’t run into surgery-fatigue.

When I consulted with pain management, the doctor mentioned the idea of pill fatigue. One of  the key reasons I couldn’t manage the dose of gabapentin they recommended was because it involved taking too many pills too many times per day. Fortunately, there is a 24-hour time-release version, which costs a fortune, but is something that I can and do take. It has been life altering.

This got me thinking about one of the factors in choosing a chemo regime should be the consideration of infusion-fatigue. This explains what I was suffering from in my post Grumpiness and Mentally Preparing. It is a consideration that I do not recall ever being mentioned.

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