Friday, April 24, 2009

My first Taxo Chemo Treatment

April 23, 2009

I cannot tell you how scared and anxious I was about the new drug. I explained it in my last post, but the idea of anaphylactic shock while having the drug infused scared the crap out of me!! But I had to do it…. Right???

On Thursday, Meg picked me up work (at least I could work two hours before I went in) and we traveled the 20 minutes to my Dr. office. It was going to be a busy day there and I was glad that it was an earlier than normal appointment. Normally I go at 1pm, but this time due to the IV infusion time (and could be side-effects) it was going to take approx. 6 hours. So my appointment was at 10:30am. There were still seats available when we got there and Meg even got to sit on the coveted couch (that one always goes first). So once we settled in they started me up. First was a bag of saline, then my pre-meds (Benadril, Tagomet, a steroid, and a anti-nausea medicine), after that they started the Taxo. My nurse slowed down the drip for the first 30 minutes to see if I would feel anything. Nope, a little warm, but that was it. So she upped the drip after that.

Meg was a lot of fun. We had never got to just chat with out our babies and we were laughing so hard, I probably snorted a couple of times and not noticed (or at least I hoped nobody else would). At one point I turned to the lady hooked up to an IV next to me, we were talking about what cancer each other had and she had told me that this was her third re-occurrence of breast cancer…. Yup, you read it right. She had had it 3 times. Her cancer was triple negative (the REALLY nasty one) and she was BRAC2 positive (the mutated gene) and she said this final time she took her Dr. advise and got a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy. You know that story, you thought you were poor cause you had no shoes, until you met a man that had no feet? That was exactly how I felt. She told me that since I did not have the mutated gene, not to worry, I would be fine. But she was just fighting it every time… Wow, her courage.

Once she left, there was another woman that came to sit by me and she was a first-timer. After she was hooked up, she asked me a few questions. How many treatments I had done, how was I coping, when did I loose my hair. We had a long talk. I told her that I wouldn’t lie to her, there were days I felt like crap, but really only a few every other week. The hardest thing was to loose my hair, but you do get use to it. I was laughing with her for a lot of my session, she seemed very nice and she didn’t seem as nervous when we finished talking, which was good.

There was a woman (bless her heart) that was her last treatment… The nurses presented her with a purple rhinestone crown and we all clapped as she left for the last time, Meg and I cried with each other at something so touching. To know that in three more treatments that will be me!! I will wear that crown proudly and for probably a few days too, hell you will probably have to pry that friggin’ crown out of my hand to get it away… hahaha!

At one point, the whole room of about 10 chemo women and their guests were talking. Comparing stories, about the hardships, but what they are looking forward too. It really felt great! Meg, who had never come to something like this said it was amazing to her to be in a place was in essence suppose to be depressing and to see the courage and support that these women, regardless of age, religion, and race were giving each other. It was really fascinating and heartwarming to her.

Finally I finished my bag of drugs and had another small saline bag and my heparin flush and I was ready to go!!! I had faired the Taxo, I only hope that this weekend would be better than with the last drug. But I don’t need to have the Nuelasta (yeah) and I won’t need to take all the nausea medication (yeah!) so that is two pluses right there.

On my departure, I had to make an appointment for my next chemo appt. My nurse, Nancy told me that the first-timer I was sitting next to's sister told her that she was so petrified about starting chemo, but after talking to me she felt a lot better. She said that my spirit and my smile made her confident that she too could beat this...

Who knows... Maybe I was some one's angel today.


  1. Your spirit and smile has always been an inspiration and a blessing to those around you--not to mention your sense of humor and your 'overdose' of life energy. We cannot help but to love you. The lady was right--you will be fine. Only Love Sweet Laurie-Jo.
    Aunt Judy

  2. You were definitely an angel.

  3. Laurie - I am a friend of your Mama's, and yes, you are a Angel. You should hear the way she talks about you, how strong and brave you are. You are HER Angel.

    You are in my prayers.

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  5. I'm postitive you were that lady's angel during the chemo session that day, but I hope you realize that you are an angel to many people on many days, LJ. I heart you!