Penultimate Treatment: docetaxel (taxotere)


My oncologist switched me this week to taxotere because the numbness in my fingers wasn’t going away. I didn’t have an immediate allergic reaction like I did with taxol, although I had some insomnia the first night (Tuesday night) and today I overslept, probably because of the rain (It has been rainy here for weeks, with no end in sight).

My oncologist gave me dexamethason (decadron) the day before, day of, and day after my treatment. So far, I’ve had no nausea, but I also have no appetite right now. That’s OK, I have plenty of body fat to sustain me! 🙂

I showed up at Same Day Surgery for my Neulasta shot yesterday, and found out that I didn’t need one! It would have been better to know that ahead of time, but that little fact must have slipped between the cracks. What I do have is a blood draw on the 16th and a doctor’s appointment on the 17th (would have been chemo days if I had stayed on Taxol), and I think at that time we’ll see if my CBCs need a boost. I did a blood test monday and apparently my blood count is good. That’s great! No neulasta means no bone pain, not that it was that bad to begin with. It was the pain from the Taxol that was so difficult to deal with.

I seem to be getting some of the sensation back in my fingertips already. The numbness had spread to the first joint already, but now it’s back down to just the fingertips.

From the ACS Website:

Common Side Effects

* Decreased white blood cell count with increased risk of infection
* Decreased platelet count with increased risk of bleeding
* Hair thinning or loss
* Diarrhea
* Loss of appetite
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Rash
* Numbness and tingling in hands and/or feet related to peripheral nerve irritation or damage
* Nails changing color or becoming brittle

Less Common Side Effects:

* Sores in mouth or on lips
* Swelling of ankles or hands
* Increased weight due to fluid retention
* Tiredness (fatigue)
* Muscle aches

Rare Side Effects:

* Severe allergic reaction
* Redness, swelling and pain in hands and/or feet

Side Effects/Symptoms of the Drug:

Tell your doctor or nurse if you develop swelling of the ankles, shortness of breath, weight gain, or your clothes feel too tight at the waist.

It doesn’t say anything about depression, but I have been feeling really down. I just want to stay in bed, which is probably what I will do.

I’ll post the entire ACS listing of taxotere on the Chemo page in case you would like to read it.

In other news…

Yesterday, I had a telephone job interview at a university in the midwest. It seemed to go well, and we talked for an hour. I hope that’s a good sign. They said they would be calling two people for campus visits, and that would happen probably by Friday (6/6) since they are running out of time to get this new hire started. The fall semester starts August 15.


I got the campus visit! I’ll be interviewing with them, meeting them, and touring the campus from 6/12-14.


About Wild Rose

I’m known as Wild Rose, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer on January 8, 2008. I had no insurance, and my income, which wasn’t large anyway, had just been cut by 2/3. This is my story, my thoughts, and the ideas that I dream up or find elsewhere. I hope that other patients and survivors find solace here.

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