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Limner

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Hi Comrades.  Just reporting in on the next phase.  I have been re-reading chemo posts, constipation, etc.  I have not had a treatment in almost four weeks and have the first paclitaxol (-el?) tomorrow.  Nurse Cathy gave me the indoctrination on it today.  She actually said 23% of patients react to the cremaphore on the first dose, but they have them come back the next day and try again!  She said usually the body has adjusted and it goes off without a hitch on the second try - ??  So I would have to have a major melt down before they would switch to Abraxane.  My oncologist reminded me it was for metastatic disease, etc.  Anyway, they are setting me up for 12 weekly doses.  Cathy said the worst was behind me with the AC, but I am concerned about being zonked out on benedryl.  

Stacy, I am grateful that you have shared your experience so I know what to be aware of.  BYW, I get wicked headaches from caffiene withdrawal - even though I have only been having about two cups of green tea a day!  If I don't have that, I will get the sickening headache -   

Cathy also suggested Niacin instead of L-glutamine for the neuropathy potential.
 
That said, it is such a wonderful resource that I can come here and lay it out and get thoughtful feedback from you.  The first two months were very lonely and hard for me until I found this site and immediately got what I was hurting for - wisdom, 'attention' and love.  B9 in '09!   
       


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Reply with quote  #2 
Good Luck today Mary!!!
You will be ok.
Don't forget to drink your water when you get home!

(((((((((((((((big hugs to you))))))))))))))))


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energybunny

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Reply with quote  #3 
Mary,  I remember my first taxol, and I had 4 treatments so I believe w/you getting 12 you get less, butmore often so more tolerable if you tolerate it.  Anyway, the first time I was zonked completely from the bendryl and the long time it took to administer it.  THe 2nd time, I was ansty, the 3rd, it was easier and the 4th fine.  Then I was done.  I did not have a bad reaction to it all.  Just the usual chemo stuff.  So maybe it will be fine.  Good luck to you!  I did not have the neuropathy and do not have it now.  I did workout on my treadmill, drank lots of water, and made sure to bring snacks to the chemo sessions in case I was hungry.  I took carrot sticks, w/w crackers, fruit, just in case.  I felt the fluid was important to keep the taxol moving. 

Good luck to you!!  Lee

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Reply with quote  #4 
Mary
I had 12 weekly treatments of Taxol all this summer--while it was a bummer to miss a summer (hmmm a poet and don't know it...) it was very tolerable.
You have gotten good advice, I'm just echoing it. SE were minimal --fatigue but no impact on my daily routine. I did lose my eyebrows, and eyelashes and my remaining sprouts of hair--that prob was the hardest for me...
Lots of water to prevent the headache and to flush. Funny with the Benadryl--at the office I never fell asleep but once I got home I had to take a major 2 hour siesta--do it!
You will be fine and this too shall pass...(albeit 12 weeks worth! sigh...)


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"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?...Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:27,34
Limner

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Thank you, Chemo-Comrades.  I guess no Abraxane for me.  I harrassed the nurse this morning for an hour to make sure she was ready to rescue me from a reaction.  I must say the only noticable response was from the benedryl.  But they gave me the minimum dose of 25 mg because I told them I was very sensitive to it.  Then a Sister of Mercy came along, and the nurse told me she would do a healing touch if I invited her, so I did invite her to.  It was a quiet, gentle reminder to me that we are in Bigger, Other and Loving hands.  Sorry.  Maybe I should cut and paste this into the Faith page, but it Was part of the Chemo experience today.  How I fret!  Her ministrations allowed me to let go, and I will try to keep that thought.
 
Yes, E-Bunny;  I need to take an apple or something instead of eating their peanut butter crackers.  Came home (drove myself, no problem) and watched 'Impromptu', a movie about Chopin and George Sand, two times - got up and had the rubber legs, Gina!  I am chugging that water.
 
Momma J - Another country heard from!  The hair thing is too wierd.  Why is it growing on my legs and not my head?  Just enough of the brows to guide a pencil line - good thing I am an artist.  Makes me ponder the sincerity of my vainity. 
 
BTW, the D level was a decent 34, probably bc I have been taking the supplements for about two weeks before the test.   
 
Thanks for your comments and affection - Mary   

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Reply with quote  #6 
One down! You are on your way!!!!
WTG girl!


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StacyL

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Reply with quote  #7 
Mary - Good luck with everything.
I have had 5 Abraxanes so far. 4 more to go. All has gone well. I get a week off after 3. I feel great during that week. I forgot about the fatigue. It came back after my last treatment (Wed.) It's not that bad. Not nearly as bad as it was on A/C. Anyway, I got the results of my MRI done last week.

My bc is multifocal so, it said the bigger tumor measured 1cm last time, this time it's 6mm. Awesome, and the smaller one is smaller too, it is too small to me measured. Now, when I had an MRI after A/C the bigger one showed a small difference, and the smaller one had no visible response.
Abraxane is kicking its ass. My onc. drew a picture: it is oval shaped and not only is it shrinking, the chemo is making Swiss cheese out of it. Isn't that cool. When my Onc. tried to feel them, she said she didn't think she would notice them if she didn't know they were there. When I found the one, it was very obvious. The invasive area in the beginning was 5-6cm. I have calc. involved and tissue and fat. But, it's getting it's ass kicked now.

Limner

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Reply with quote  #8 

Wonderful to see real measurable results with this chemo - I am happy for you Stacey!   I already had the surgery, so there is nothing to measure - just the knowledge that the chemo is wiping out any little bits floating around.  I had no side effects from the first T infusion - but I was awake ALL NIGHT!  What is up with that?  I only got benedryl and an anti-emetic.  Did the cremaphore keep me awake? No meds at home.  And I am very perky today, with just 2 hours of sleep - ?? 


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Reply with quote  #9 
mary, they didn't give you decadron?? They usually do- that stuff keeps you wired for days- I had the world's cleanest closets when I was on that stuff.
You know what I like? A tea called Tension Tamer by Celestial Seasonings. I mix one tea bag of that with one bag of Sleepy Time. It really puts me into a happy, state of chill.

Stacy- Holy Shrinkage Batman!!! That is AWESOME!!!! I am REALLY happy to read this!

You know that Abraxane and Taxol are all from the yew tree, right? I have started adding pine nuts to my food. There is no scientific basis for this, but I figure if pine trees kill cancer, what the hell- pine nuts can only help!


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Limner

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Reply with quote  #10 
Yes, they prolly did give me decadron.  It never kept me awake like that before, though Gina.   I love both those teas, and cold, too.
 
I was just reading that the pine nuts have MUFAs (good fat) 
 
The skin on my hands and palms looks like beef jerky, dark & wrinkly.

I've thought about doing a series of botanical type paintings of the chemo plants - some of them are beautiful, like the Crocus Colchicum autumnale. 

This picture was taken in October behind my old saltbox (the one that got away...)  They have a burst of green in the spring, then die back until fall and surprise you with this fabulous color.   The first chemo drug was made from them, but proved too toxic...  don't let the dog munch on it -

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Reply with quote  #11 
Oooh I love your house!!!

Get Bag Balm for your hand and feet. Put it on your feet and then put on socks.
You can also use Gold Bond Medicated Foot Cream. That helps too.
And any cream that has a high Urea content helps protect hand/foot syndrome.

Also, don't go from extremes like eat ice cream and then have a hot tea. And hot baths could make the feet worse.

If your skin starts to get peely here is another trick:
Pour yourself a warm bath and put in a half capful of Dreft laundry detergent. Soak your feet and your old, flakey yucky skin will peel right off.

Mary, I want to add to the main webpage a gallery of the artwork done by the amazing artists here- I look forward to your chemoplant series. It also would be pretty to have next to the different chemoes I have listed- sort of like, See? this is just a pretty plant! It isn't so scary!

(((((big hugs))))
love,
g


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Limner

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks for the hand tips, Gina.  How are you feeling, today?  Unfortunately, it is not my house anymore.  Now I live in dumb apartments in dumber fort lauderdale.  I have moved seven times since I sold the house in late November, 2006.  And, I am moving again at the end of this month to be closer to work and the hospital.  Yes, I have an attitude about it, but the weather is swell here.  Regarding the chemo plants, maybe if I made pictures 6"x6" I would actually get them done!
 
Take it easy - Mary  

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Reply with quote  #13 
Oh dear, Mary, I had a couple of years like that where I moved five times.
I am a renter so have been at the mercy of landlords forever.
I understand the tude! I know exactly what you mean!!!


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MicheleS

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Reply with quote  #14 
Mary,

I'm glad to see this thread!  I'm actually looking forward to taxol after my AC experiences (just 1 more!!!).  It is nice to read how it is not so bad.

Michele
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Reply with quote  #15 
Don't know how I missed this one till now... Love your idea about the paintings, Mary! And that's a great idea about a gallery, Gina. Also, I hadn't given a thought to where and how chemo drugs are derived. I'm a little abashed; where did you find this stuff, Mary? Would I have felt better knowing 'my chemo' had a little pink flower? Strangely...maybe.

There you are, Michelle! Hope you're feeling better.

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Reply with quote  #16 
I eat pine nuts like a nut because I think I am giving myself some extra "taxane"
I know it makes no sense- but the Yew is a pine tree!


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