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Had my 5th (11th?) chemo today & REASSURING review of my 'symptoms'.

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I came home from my 5th weekly taxol infusion for my recurrance today, and climbed right into bed for 2 hours to sleep off the benedryl they give me as a part of my chemo cocktail. Now the steroids will take over and I will be up all night, so I like to get the sleep ahead of that. Vic and I watched 'Taking Woodstock' when I woke up (since we're 2 old hippies). I think I'll use my sleepless night to pack away the last of my Christmas tree ornaments as my night-time project, and read.

My really GOOD news is that my CA-125 still dropped this week (11 after initial chemo/radiation protocol; 155 five months later at suspected recurrance onset; 145 prior to 1st chemo; 115 prior to 2nd chemo; 90 prior to 3rd chemo; 64.4 prior to 4th chemo; and 60.3 prior to today’s 5th chemo.) I still need to go in the next 3 days at least for Neupogen and they may take that up to the next 5 days. The drop in the treatment marker CA-125 was much smaller this week and the effectiveness of the taxol may be leveling off, but the decision was to stay on this as long as it keeps dropping my numbers, and only switch chemos if I have a rise in CA-125 two weeks in a row. The goal is to bring the CA-125 under 35. Regardless of that number, I will have a CT-scan at the end of the month to see if we can back up what we hope that steady drop means. I was told all along to plan on being on steady chemo a minimum of 4 months, so I'm trying to be patient.

It was reassuring to have the oncologist examine me today before my treatment. I have been concerned that this low-residue diet is simply not nutritious enough, even with the supplements I am taking. My weight has stayed constant and steady, so that is good. He looked at the complex blood work breakdown and I don’t have any serious nutritional deficiencies. He told me to make sure I eat bananas, yogurt, and applesauce daily and that a fiber supplement may be tolerated now more easily than the fiber in fresh vegetables and fruit with my immunity so questionable, and actually help even out my digestion issues. So I will start eating a high-fiber cereal each morning. I was worried about the dull ache I always have in my torso, but he examined me and said that he is pretty sure that this is a chemo side affect and not a progression in the cancer. He said that chemo kills all fast-growing cells and that the digestive system includes a lot of fast-growing cells and that this complaint is the most common one that they get from chemo patients. He also examined the small swelling I get in my pelvis and my ankles, and feels both are related to my compromised lymph system and are not an indication that the cancer is spreading. So all in all, I am reassured that my ‘sytmptoms’ are really side effects, and THAT is very good for my sense of well-being and optimism. And now I have a new plan to work on to gradually work myself out of this low residue diet so I can start being proactive in my diet in a way that makes better sense than this bland white-bread low-residue diet.

All in all, it was a good day for a chemo day! They had egg salad sandwiches for everyone at the chemo lounge and one patient brought peanut-butter fudge that I just had to taste. (I know! I KNOW!) But, ladies, life is short and peanut-butter fudge is DELICIOUS!!

Posts: 743
Joined: Oct 2008

I am happy to hear that you are feeling reassured by your treatment and your doctors exam. I hope that your eating plan works out and that you can begin to add back in some fiber. I continue to have minor GI issues, particularly if I eat too much at one time. I do much better when I eat small meals with healthy snacks in between. I continue to battle getting the weight off. I have lost about 10 pounds since finishing chemo, but have another 30 to get off to be back to "pre cancer" weight. The doctor says losing weight is the most important thing I can do right now toward preventing a reoccurance as it is a risk factor. I am eating healthier as a whole, but the holidays have been difficult. I had my share of sweets and snacks... I agree that life is too short to completely avoid lifes little pleasures.
Anyhow, glad you enjoyed your day despite chemo! Keep hanging in there. You are a fighter!
Love and Hugs!!

Posts: 296
Joined: Nov 2008

I would to have had me a taste too!

Praying that you CA125 will keep dropping. It's funny how we feel every little ache and pain in our body and we have soooo many different ones now since surgery and chemo and radiation.

Know that I'm am here in NC thinking of you everyday and holding your hand through this journey. You are strong my friend and "Fight Like A Girl"!



Songflower's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Apr 2009

You are a warrior! An inspiration! You seem to be tolerating the taxol well. When I couldn't sleep from chemo they gave me sleeping medication to fight the steroid hamster effect. It helped me to have a more normal life cycle but I don't know if it is what you want. After the treatment for the breast cancer ten years ago I learned to not fear medication that helps me to function better in day to day life.

How are your hands and toes! Mine are very slowly improving; I am on medication which gives me a lot of freedom. I went to the Rose Parade and did alot of walking.

Thinking of you. You are a magic girl!


susie1143's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Aug 2009

Sounds good...egg salad was my father's favorite. Sometimes we need to treat ourself.


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