Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chemotherapy - Round 1 Update

What a week from hell---I literally felt like I was traveling through hell.  I don't say that to be a potty mouth.  It really WAS just a torture.  Things certainly did not go as expected this week in the way of my chemotherapy treatments.  To sum up the week--splitting migraine headache, sick to my stomache, lots of tears, and major frustration.

My previous post talks about going in on Monday for my first dose of chemotherapy and my allergic reaction to one of the drugs.  Well, they had me return the next day to "challenge" the drug.  They wanted to see if I would have another reaction after being on steroids.  So, I took steroids the night before and the morning of my appointment on Tuesday.  When I arrived there, they gave me a drip in my I.V. of Benadryl and more steroids.  Once again, I had an allergic reaction to the Taxotere.  So scary!  There is nothing worse than feeling like you cannot breathe!

After the reaction, they flushed the I.V. with saline and gave me MORE Benadryl and steroids.  It was just nauseating.  I cannot stand Benadryl, it makes me feel totally out of it---to say NOTHING of the steroids. 

They then proceeded to give me the chemotherapy drug Taxol.  It was almost instantly that I had an allergic reaction.  My chest felt tight and I felt like I couldn't even say a word.  I just started waving my hands in the air.  My nurse stopped the drug and repeated the procedure--flush I.V., Benadryl, MORE steroids.  At this point I was in panic mode.  I kept saying, "Please help me!  I can't breathe!"  Obviously I was breathing because I was talking, but it seemed very hard to breathe. 

After resting in the chair and having the nurses monitor me, they sent me home.  Two days in a row to be wheeled out of the office in a wheelchair to my car.  My skin was so hot to the touch and I was completely swollen.  My skin just looks fried.

I went home feeling like crap and totally defeated.  This wasn't even considered a full treatment. 

I went straight to bed when I got home and didn't hardly get out for almost 4 days.  There is no way to describe the headache I was/have been feeling.  It is not like just any headache.  It is the queen mother of all headaches.  My entire head has been sore.  Sore to the touch.  I can now see how hair falls out so quickly with these treatments.  I have spent a lot of time with an ice pack propped on the top of my head.  It seems like it just takes the edge off.  My skin looks old and dry and my hair follicles look different.  I can't explain it.  They look larger or something.  Weird.

I was hoping to be able to head to a family reunion from Wednesday to Friday, that is until I realized how sick I was going to be.  I had to miss it.  What a bummer.  But, there is NO WAY that I could have dealt with the noise and chaos.  My brother-in-law made some shirts for the reunion.  What a talent he has!  This looks exactly like my dad!  I think he would get a kick out of this shirt!
My sister Heather and her husband Rocky (and kids) came over to visit us after returning from the reunion.  She brought with her 2 gift bags.  One bag was from them.  It had a hat and several cute head coverings.  The other bag was from my sister-in-laws sister Leisle.  It was a very large gift bag completely FULL of things for me.  There were 15...yes FIFTEEN absolutely darling hats, 7 darling crotched head wraps, and three CUTE pairs of shoes!  It was like Christmas morning!  I have been worried about my lack of hats/scarves and I don't yet have a wig.  I just kept wondering when I have would have the time and energy to shop.  Even though I was feeling sick, it was an instant pick me up!  The pressure of finding head coverings was completely gone!  Thank you Heather and Leisle for saving the day!

I have been out of bed a lot more today.  I loaded and unloaded my dishwasher and did a couple batches of laundry!  Yeah me!  What an accomplishment! 

Now, I am just waiting to try another chemo drug.  There is a drug that they would like me to try that is very similar to Taxotere and Taxol--it is called Albumin.  The difference is...something to do with how they coat it, it is a protein, absorbed differently, hidden from the immune system.  I basically don't know what I am talking about.  All I care about is if it works or not and if I can tolerate it.  When I think about another allergic reaction, I feel so anxious!  Surely something is going to work!  The problem right now is, my insurance company doesn't know whether or not they want to cover this because it is more expensive.  Well, I might not have a choice.  Monday I should be hearing what they have decided.  Tuesday I have an appointment for blood work and possible chemotherapy treatment.  Oh goodness. 

I am praying that things will start to get easier soon!

The highlight of my week was last night when John, and all my kids, were laying on the bed with me watching T.V.  We were all there together, visiting, and no one was fighting or annoyed with each other.  Everyone was just relaxed.  It was just nice spending a little time with everyone.  My husband and kids are being so good and patient with me!  What a blessing!

1 comment:

Ashley and Cody said...

My heart breaks you have to go through this trial. I'm so glad you have so many people who love you. Even though I'm sure this is the hardest thing you have ever gone through I can see how loved you are and Heavenly Father has surrounded you with a great support group to help carry you during this time. Cody and I have been thinking about you a lot, and we hope this week is a little easier. Hang in there sweet girl