Monthly Archives: May 2008

Second paclitaxel (Taxol) treatment


I just got back from my second paclitaxel treatment (5/20/08). My oncologist was there and she checked me over, listened to my lungs, looked at my hideous rash, listened to my description of my symptoms.

She is especially concerned about the numb fingertips and toes. The numbness has remained steady since it started, a day or two after my first treatment. She said if the numbness remains constant or gets worse, she is going to switch me to taxotere, in the hope that it will decrease these symptoms. She said that when the numbness does this, often it becomes permanent.

She gave me Prednisone for the rash, which is blood red right now, although it’s not spreading. After my second treatment, which includes anti-allergy meds in the mix, the oncology nurses said it looked like the rash had begun to clear up, especially on my face and chest. Perhaps the steroids will work.

Right now I’m feeling sleepy, so after I finish this, I will probably take a nap turn on the tv and watch through my closed eyelids, like my Dad does after a long day.

I’ll post a page about taxotere.

Update 5/29/08

My fingertips are still tingling and somewhat numb, and the feeling has spread almost to the first knuckle. It seems like it was worse yesterday, or maybe I was just typing more.

Yesterday and today I’ve had some digestive issues and my guy and I were joking last night on IM about my becoming an Olympic hurler, if they ever have the Chemo Patient Hurling into Trash Can competition. I am so glad I have a solid plastic trash can (with a moisture proof liner). That’s probably TMI, but if you’re in chemo, or you know someone who is, you know what I mean. Sometimes the nausea just gets the best of you. So when you have the hurling and …that other problem… you have to remember to keep the fluids in. And if one more cashier comments on the number of bottles of vitamin water I’ve purchased…!  Water here tastes so bad and feels slimy just plain, so I add about a shot of vitamin water and it’s almost drinkable.

My Weekend of Pain lasted almost a week this time. It was of longer duration than the first time, but the pain wasn’t as bad. You’ll recall, after my first Taxol treatment, I had incredible nerve pain at the base of my spine, radiating down my legs. This time, it was mostly joint pain (which would disguise it from the Neulasta shot pain, except that I know the difference) in my hips, knees and ankles. Neulasta pain is mainly in the tops of my pelvis and the balls of my femora.  That pain began last Thursday (5/22) and gradually tapered off yesterday (5/28). Late yesterday and continuing today, I’m still scary weak (can’t stand for more than a few minutes at a time, otherwise my knees and ankles hurt and I feel like I’ll pass out) and I still get stabbing pains in my ankles. That is so weird. Oh, and I’m out of breath just from walking down the hall to the bathroom and back.

We had our first serious thunderstorm of the season late yesterday. We get very few thunderstorms here. It passed to the north of Cowboy Outpost, and my windows face north, so I watched it go by for about an hour. Cheap entertainment.

I haven’t heard from a number of the job apps I still have out. Some of them don’t close until Monday (6/1) so I need to be patient, but I also still haven’t heard anything from the job with the interview in New England, exactly a month ago. I put a call in to human resources but they haven’t called back (if she doesn’t within the next hour, she won’t today.)


A rough night with the tree


I was hoping that the ride with paclitaxel would be easier than the A/C, and up until last night, it was. When it comes to pain, last night was an 8 or 9 out of 10. The side effects for Taxol that are listed on Medline do say you could have pain in the joints of the arms and legs for 2-3 days. Today will be day 3, and if it doesn’t ease up, I’ll need to call the doctor. I had to take a hydrocodone last night (and it just took the edge off the pain) just so I could sleep.

My pain was more extensive than simply my joints. Both legs hurt starting at the hips. I hope this isn’t what it’s going to be like for the next two months! This pain is disabling and there’s no possible way I could hold down a job, or at least not a full-time job.

My fingertips are a little numb today too, but that sensation has been coming and going since Tuesday.