Ok, three lashes with a damp noodle – as my father would say. I did not realize how many weeks it had been since I had posted. I guess this is the reason I have been receiving more phone calls to find out how I am. Quite a bit has happened so let me bring you up to date.
Due to the advancing of the rash – open skin and more inflamed, and the neuropathy, my oncologist decided to stop the Taxol in week 9. Week 10 and 11 infusions were only Herceptin. This meant I did not get the cocktail of drugs, but rather only Tylenol and Herceptin and the infusion was only 30 minutes rather than a few hours. I met with the Oncologist prior to my week 11 infusion and decided to move to every three-week Herceptin Infusion stage of treatment. It is also now time to do another Eco-cardiogram to make sure the Herceptin is not impacting my heart. That will happen this week. In addition, after 4 weeks of rest from the Taxol, I will go for my planning session for radiation, and likely start radiation just after July 4th. The fun continues!
I am starting the 4th week after stopping the Taxol. All that time I have been working at trying to recover from some of the symptoms. You must understand, I have never been a primper, spending hours in the bathroom every morning. If I cannot shower and get ready in the morning in 30 minutes something does not happen – likely no make-up, LOL. Creating a morning and night time routine to take care of the rash and skin in general, do exercises to manage the fluid drain, and try to exercise my hands to get rid of the neuropathy is really a drag. I also have been continuing to walk every day. My system is still sensitive, so if I do not walk I am still experiencing a bit of a funky stomach and fatigue.
Just this week I started experiencing more pain and feeling of fluid fullness in my hands and fingers from the Neuropathy. In addition, last night I started with pain in my legs and tingling in my feet also the start of neuropathy. I did a bit of reading and it seems that it will often get worse before it gets better. My oncologist did warn me that it could take up to 6 months for the neuropathy to clear up. I am not too concerned, just frustrated. Patients has never been my virtue, and this process is not changing that either.
On the fun side, after stopping the cocktail of drugs, I have continued to lose weight. Since Jan 2018, I am now down 32 pounds, and a BMI of 26 (BMI of 25 is recommended). I now weigh what I did when I graduated from college. I started going through my closet to try to figure out what fits and move the clothes that do not fit to a different closet where it is staged for donation. I am never going back! I am still eating a plant-based diet, and really enjoying it. I am more creative in the kitchen, and I have no cravings. However, I do still like the smell or burgers and pizza. In fact, just the other night I decided to have a slice of pizza at the music festival. Wow was I sorry! By the next morning my stomach did not feel good, and the amount of inflammation caused by the salt and cheese I felt in my hands and feet was significant. It really reinforced how prophetic eliminating inflammation prior to chemo really was.
I also am finding my stamina is coming back. I can stay out later at night which allows me to start to participate in many of the things I use to do at night. I also am feeling more confident about my stamina, so I am willing to drive home later at night too. I am told that radiation is fatiguing, so I am expecting that this little reprieve will not continue all summer. I will continue to take one day at a time.
The picture below is the only picture I will allow in 2018. I am happy to take each day as it comes, find something to laugh and be joyful about, but in the end 2018 is a lost year in my book. I really do not want anything to memorialize it with. I am focused on getting through this better than I was before and setting and achieving goals that will manifest in 2019.
For my lions stay tuned for another CSA inspired dinner. I am getting the weekly deliveries on Tuesdays. I am finding that the vegetables do not really keep without cooking until the weekend. So, the next dinner is likely going to be a weekday evening. But with the sun setting so much later, it should still work.