Sunday, June 6, 2010

Intravenous Domestos - part 6

I had heard from a friend that there was a study done in America (of course) about Goths who are going through chemo. Apparently the dark nail polish preserves their nails. So, armed with this knowledge I went to the Chanel to purchase some Rouge Noir nail polish. The lady was very friendly and chatty and asked if I was buying the nail polish for a special event. I told her that it was for chemo and told her about the Goths. She then went nuts and gave me samples of everything! So, purely for medicinal purposes, I booked myself in for a manicure and pedicure before treatment number six. Unfortunately, it was not medical enough to claim on my health insurance. I also booked myself into the dentist and I had heard that it is good to have a check up before having too much chemo. It has something to do with you producing less saliva, which can cause a faster build up of plaque. I was also showered with samples, but they weren't nearly as exciting as the Chanel sample bag. Most of the samples had to do with combatting my dry mouth, as I was drinking about half a litre of water during the night, which meant many nightly toilet trips. For the record, if you are ever offered fruit salad flavoured oral lubricant, politely say no and keep drinking the water!

Before the intravenous domestos number six started, I saw the oncologist and gave him my long list of side effects. There were a few of these side effects which required other medication. I was on so many drugs that I had to eat a smaller breakfast just to fit them in. He lowered my dose of the terrible Toxotere, so hopefully that would make my recovery shorter and less horrific. I had gotten into the routine of the chemo treatment. Treatments were made easier and seemed to go faster, by chatting to other patients. I found it very helpful speaking to one lady who also had breast cancer, but was further along in her treatment than me. It was also eye opening to speak to another lady who had breast cancer, but it had spread to her bones. It made me realise just how lucky I was that I was officially cancer free and all this treament was just mopping up any microscopic cancer cells before they lodged somewhere and could do damage. I haven't seen that lady for a while, but I pray for her and hope she is ok.

The recovery from this treatment wasn't as bad as the last one, thanks to the drop in dose of Taxotere. Instead of taking two weeks, I felt better after ten days, so that was an improvement. I still had no appetite and found it hard to eat thanks to the bleeding gums, but I did find it helpful to drink a glass of Sustagen rather than eating a meal. Even when I was feeling nauseaous, it was good to have something in my stomach, as the longer I went without eating, the more nauseaous I would feel. However, after this treament I had a new side effect of blowing blood out my nose. As the chemo was accumulating in my system, my platelets were down which lead to me bleeding. My legs had a great collection of bruises and I was feeling exhausted. I was keeping my eye on the prize though - only two more of these horrid treatments to go! Followed by 30 doses of radiation and 14 doses of Herceptin, but we won't think about that yet.

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