Aftermath of cycle #7


Feel better flowers from Nik

Before I get into the details of my seventh cycle, let me first give you the deets on my  last cycle. Cycle #6 went fairly well, except the muscles aches that kept me in bed a whole day. The bone pain was minor and I was able to enjoy my weekend with my boyfriend and sisters. It’s as though my body knew that it had to fight hard for the upcoming week because I would be spending it in Toronto. This is week with cycle seven was just the opposite.


Cycle #7 infusion

The day after my infusion, Wednesday, I was feeling fairly well. Well enough to go to the library and do some reading. The only side effect I was having was a flushed face, which was pretty typical for the day after. On Thursday, I felt almost normal and went to a Pilates session even though there I had slight muscle aches. Thursday is the day that I get my Neulesta shot, and boy it would bring on misery like never before.


my pilates gear

On Friday, the day after my shot I woke up feeling ok, but by the end of breakfast I felt the energy completely drain out of my body. I could barely stand without feeling light headed and strangely I was feeling nauseous. Nausea is not a common side effect of Taxol so I had no idea where it was coming from, possibly a new side effect from the Neulesta. The muscle aches are very common and I sure started feeling them even more. In fact, the aches started the night before.

Friday I stayed in bed all day, fell asleep a few times and the rest of the time just laid around trying not to move. At my last appointment with the oncologist, I asked for something stronger for the muscle aches and the bone pain. Advil was not enough. The doctor had no problem prescribing me a stronger pain reliever, Tramadol. I took that on Thursday night and Friday morning, at six hours intervals, hoping it would lessen the muscle aches. Unfortunately it did not seem to do anything except make me feel cloudy, the pain was still there. If I stood to walk around, I would feel dizzy and light headed. By looking at me you could tell I was not feeling well, my complexion turned green and my eyes looked glassed over. 

By Friday night my bones started aching, and at times the aches would turn into shooting pains.  I would feel the pain through different bones, with each pump my heart would make I could feel the poison travelling through my bones. I could no longer endure this pain, I had to take an even stronger pain killer that I had from my previous surgery. I took a Hydrocodon Friday night, and the pain seemed to lessen. I wanted to stay away from anything that was stronger than advil, but then I thought to myself  “I have already endured enough pain, I know what it’s like. Enough is enough.” My biggest concern about the strong pain killers is becoming dependent on them even after the pain goes away. I hear about it all the time how opiates and other drugs are so easy to become addicted to, whether it be through the media or my studies. But now that I have experienced taking them to lessen the pain that I am feeling, I can see the difference between using them to feel a high and using them to relieve pain. When taking a hydrocodone for pain the drug will work at the site that causes the pain, not making it go away but making sure that the mind does not interpret it as pain. But, when taking the drug to feel a high and there is no pain then the drug will not work as a pain killer but would effect the mind in a different way since there is no pain stimulus. Now I am not afraid to take medication that will help me with certain side effects.

Anna and her family came to spend the weekend with my parents and I in Buffalo. They arrived Friday in the afternoon, I tried my best to spend some time with the kiddies. Thank goodness for medicine and everything it has to offer. Especially, pain killers. By Saturday I was able to hang out and get out of bed. Sunday came along and I was feeling better but not 100%. The muscles aches have gone away but there is still some bone and joint pain. In a few days I expect to get back to normal. Next Tuesday, August 18 is my last and final chemotherapy cycle and I have a feeling it will be worse than cycle #7. I can feel that my body has had enough and wants to start recovering.


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