Paclitaxel

Yesterday was a whole bag of drama.

It started around 10.00 with a call from the hospital. Apparently my blood wasn’t great, bordering on unacceptable. Would I please come in for 1.00pm and have my blood retested?

Those three hours between call and test were filled with my eating meat, taking protein powder, freaking out, calling my mom, freaking out, and writing a post. It was frustrating; like what happened? Had someone from the hospital read my last blog and decided: oh yeah, we’ll see if you go home for Christmas!

No, of course not. After all, it was my blood that had low counts. Actually, it’s still my blood that has low counts.

After giving the blood, Zsolt I retired to the hospital coffee shop to await the results.

Here is an aside: These people know my name! Walking into reception, the nurse says: ‘just go on back, Catherine’ before I even get to the counter. Walking into Costa coffee, the woman who’s in charge of the chemotherapy pharmacy smiles at me as she waits for her drink, and comes over to have a chat. ‘How are you doing, Catherine?’ She even helped carry my orange slices to the table.

What the heck? It was nice, but eerie. Chemotherapy is one place I don’t want to belong. But, that being said, it’s nice when people know your name. Too bad I couldn’t remember theirs!

And about the orange slices: they’re a great distraction. As I walk down the hospital halls, with their melange of chemical and stale air smells, I bite into an orange slice and focus on the taste, texture, smell etc. It really helps with my vomiting. Okay, yes – I admit it – I still vomited yesterday, but at least I could walk down the hallway without getting sick. That is an improvement, believe me.

Another aside: I’ve painted my nails navy blue. Apart from the chipping, they look somewhat cool.

Fast forward 40 minutes and we are back at C3, chemo ward. The nurse checks my results . . . ‘they’re going ahead with it this time, but you still may miss a week.’

Bittersweet news: no immediate postponement, but the possible threat of a missed week in the future. Ah!

Here is the positive side: I have one week, as opposed to three hours, to bring up my blood. That means more red meat, more protein drinks, more vitamins, more this, more that. And better blood. Let’s hope for better blood, otherwise it’s possible you’ll witness another online meltdown (and I’m tired of that drama).

So – chemotherapy commenced. And, if you read this blog often enough, you may realize I’m writing about chemotherapy very shortly after treatment. Normally I’m way too sick for writing.

They hooked me up to the anti-sickness drugs (and I threw up) for a thirty minute drip. Then the nurse came round to hook me up to the paclitaxel (and I threw up again). She offered me a muscle relaxant to stop vomiting, but I said no thanks. And it’s good that I did, because this chemo drug does all the relaxing that’s required. Whew – it knocked me out. I couldn’t read or talk or anything. It made for an incredibly boring session. Two hours of sitting still.

However, I haven’t been nauseated since treatment, and – so far – haven’t felt like shit. Instead I came home and crashed into bed (about 6.30pm arrival) and slept, slept, slept, slept, slept.

Today I am awake, able to move around the apartment, able to eat and drink.

It’s like a freaking miracle.

Whatever that red chemotherapy drug was (AC) it was madness compared to paclitaxel. Madness, I tell you.

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One thought on “Paclitaxel

  1. Hi Catherine,

    I’m very sensitive to smells (hey perfume ladies, stay away from me with your spritzers!). But, there are two essential oils that do wonders for me when I’m feeling nauseous, tired, or down in my spirits: sweet orange (invigorating, yet reassuring and calming), and bergamot (energizing). I’m also fortunate to be able to pass my hands through fresh lavender in my garden… no bottled scent smells as fresh and uplifting as my lavender. The essentials oils should be from natural substances (not cheaper man-made chemical concoctions).

    Since you like the smell and taste of your orange slices so much, I thought I would share my favourite essential oils with you. Smell is a very personal thing, so what works for me may not have the same effect on you. Just a thought. 🙂

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