Cycle #5: the start of Taxol the notorious drug that brings on nueropathy. My oncologist instructed that I take 5 pills of Decadron, a steroid, the night before and take 5 more pills the morning of each and every cycle from now on. The reason I have to take so many, as my doctor explained, is to prevent a severe allergic reaction from Taxol. My new drug is not supposed to cause nausea so there will not be many, if at all any, antiemetic meds.
Last week, the US Supreme Court made a very important decision based on patents on genes. The Supreme Court ruled that laborites cannot put patents on human genes. For example, Myriad Labs located in Colorado was the first laboratory to discover the BRCA mutations that are believed to be responsible for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Continue reading
Since starting my 4th of 8 cycles of chemotherapy, my life has changed by several side effects. During my first for cycles, I have been infused with Cytoxan and Adriamycin.
On June 18, was my 4th cycle of chemotherapy marking my halfway point in my battle to prevent any recurrences both local and distant. The last two days was also the first time I broke down since beginning treatment.
Today has been 9 days since my third cycle of chemotherapy, and I feel back to normal. Sort of.
The first few days were of course filled with nausea, but this time it seems as though I was more tired than usual. The fatigue is starting to build up every time now.
Today is a very special day. This morning, my amazing friend and her wonderful sister ran the Susan G Komen Walk, The Race for the cure. The Susan G Komen walk is an annual race done here in Buffalo every June to increase awareness for breast cancer and to finding a cure.
After my genetic test came back positive for the BRCA1 mutation I have had a lot to think about. First thing to think about is my second breast (yay, I still have one of those). Reconstruction of the right side had always been in my plans, but now I’m thinking of a possible mastectomy on my left side. This means that there will have to be two reconstruction surgeries right after the mastectomy.
It feels like just yesterday I had my last cycle and now in a few days I will have my third chemotherapy cycle. Thankfully this last chemo cycle did not go too bad. I had my nausea under control because I took my anti-nausea medication religiously by the hour. Every six hours I would take Compazine, twice a day I would take Dexamethasone, and at night time I would take one Lorazepam. These three drugs are different classes of drugs, they work differently to prevent the nausea and hence are more effective. I continued this routine until Saturday.
On Sunday, my hair slowly started to fall out. And by “fall out” I mean if I would tug lightly on my hair, 5-6 strands would come out straight with the hair follicle. From this I new my days were numbered before the big chop would come. My oncologist warned me that my hair would start falling out on day fourteen after my initial cycle. The nurses working at the Breast Resource Center also said that hair usually starts to fall out between 10-14, for sure there would be drastic loss by day 18.
This morning I woke up bright and early to make it on time for my 7:30 am appointment with Phlebotomy ( the place I do my blood test before every cycle). My alarm clock went of at 6:30 am, but of course I pressed the snooze button. Quickly, I put on my face (make-up) and got dressed. After making my way downstairs, I gulped a glass of orange juice poured by my mother and we were off! Nik would join my mother and I for my second session but he’d still be working from his laptop.