Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Chemotherapy Countdown Continues

Six chemotherapy treatments remain of sixteen.

Finally a number I can wrap my brain around. Six is a mere handful, soon to be five four three two one — done. With a single pesky exception (neuropathy - more on that later) every week on Taxol I feel better than the week before. I don't crash mid-cycle like I did a few weeks ago. My appetite and sense of taste are normalizing. My hair, just a pale fuzz thus far, is slowly coming back. Even my sex drive is reemerging.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I feel like the picture of glowing health. My blood counts are still low and I truly feel it. It's like I'm perpetually coming down with something bad and tomorrow is when I'll really be sick.

But compared to Adriamycin and Cytoxan, my first chemo drugs, this is a walk in the park.

Except for the neuropathy, that is, and even that isn't so bad.

Every day I down a huge arsenal of supplements - B vitamins (1, 6, and 12), amino acids (L-Gluatmine and Acetyl-L-Carnetine, three times a day), vitamins E and D3, chlorella, several probiotics, and eight bitter little black pellets of a Chinese herbal concoction called "Ten Flavors" that is supposed to help with my blood counts.

At first these seemed to be helping quite a bit, but right now, I'm not so sure. My fingers and toes feel tingly and hot as I type. I fear I'll be switched to Taxotere, a related drug that tends to cause less neuropathy, but with other, harsher side effects. I also fear my doctor will keep me at a lower dose of Taxol. What does that mean for my prognosis? No way of knowing.

One day at a time, I guess.

Which reminds me, this week I will not be receiving chemo on Friday as I usually do. The cancer center I use is part of a Catholic hospital. Friday this week is a holiday. So from now on —a mere six weeks more — I will receive chemo on Mondays.


DM said...

I hope you don't mind my writing this.

To also help build up your immune system there are several important vitamins and minerals, which I don't think will interfere with the chemo.

Vitamin C - 4g a day
CoQ10 - 600mg a day
Chelated magnesium 500mg a day
and thru NOW products
Immune Renew (a mushroom blend plus astragalus root extract)
Beta 1,3/1,6-D-Glucan (again a mushroom extract)

I also take curcumin complex, selenium and spirulina as well.

Glad you are near the end of the chemo.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy,
I know this is a bit off topic, yet it's not. This is a provocative article.