Chemo Side Effects, Part 2

All 4 of us have sore throats and coughs.

But, THAT’S IT!  Life is good!

No more chemo and (almost) no more side effects.  Here’s what I experienced on Taxol and Neulasta:

Taxol (Paclitaxel)
Via infusion, once every 2-wks, for 4 cycles (following Cisplatin).  Continued to take Sorafenib.  Click here for side effects from those drugs.

  • Hot, red face the day after infusion
  • Mild nausea.  I took Compazine and Zofran for 2 days after infusion.
  • Hair loss
  • That which Immodium is good for
  • Mild neuropathy, only in my toes
  • Nosebleeds
  • Joint pain, which could be from the Neulasta shot

Neulasta
A shot to increase white blood cell count, given back at Emory 24 hours after each infusion. Duration of symptoms varied from 3-6 days.  Claritin and Advil helped most.

  • Flu-like symptoms, low-grade fever
  • Bone and joint pain, especially in my legs

And that, my friends, is the last I’ll write about chemo side effects!

MRI, mammogram and ultrasound tomorrow, 8/29.  PET scan Friday, 8/31.

Nicole

On to Taxol

(from the files of Joey the guest-writer)

We went in today for our first round of Taxol and Nicole did great, as usual.  Our only hiccup today was that her blood counts came in too low initially again, this time in the mid 800s (she needs to be at 1,000 in order to be able to do chemo on any given day).  So, off to the stairs we went again!  24 steps per flight, five flights, seven trips up and down the stairs.  1,680 stairs in total – 840 up and 840 down.  She did the blood test again and scored in the 1,200 range.  We are now true believers in climbing the stairs to boost your white blood cell counts.  Two for two.

Taxol is a bit quicker than Cisplatin – only a three hour infusion, plus about a half hour of pre-meds.  Still, a really long day.  Today was made considerably easier, though, by two excellent neighbors in the infusion center – Mike and Mary, who were about our parents’ age, struck up a conversation with us and we talked and laughed with them for almost two hours.  We covered politics, history, careers, hobbies, children and grandchildren.  They are fabulous people and we really enjoyed talking with them.  Cross your fingers for Mike, who has battled and beaten cancer twice and is on his way soon to get a bone marrow transplant.  We were in awe of his great spirit.

Thanks also to my parents, Dan and Betty Jo (aka Grammy and Pops), who came in yesterday and are keeping the house and kids in one piece this week.

It is GREAT to have good friends and family like you all.  We can’t tell you how much we appreciate all the support and help we get from each of you.

Joey