I'm heading off to the infusion center today for Taxotere dose #3. I plan to ask my oncologist to raise my dose back to the normal amount, even though I had a hard time handling a full dose #1. Hopefully this time things go smoothly, I stay lucid, sane, and healthy, and any remaining cancer cells hit the highway.
I've generally been feeling great since my last dose. I traveled to NYC on business for three days, met with a wonderful wigmaker, then vacationed in Cape Cod for three days with my husband to pick mushrooms. On my return I hosted two live radio shows (check my archives at www.KatherineAlbrecht.com for Oct 17 and 18 to hear them). I also recorded five radio vignettes at the sound studio, and ran a ton of important and useful errands.
Then last night I felt like an emotional cement truck hit me and buried me under its contents. There must be some psychological chemo anticipatory thing going on, since this happened to me on the night before my last two chemo treatments, too. Oddly, while I'm slumping around feeling miserable and sorry for myself, I am not even thinking of chemo, but the recurring pattern would sure seem to indicate that it's the cause. The subconscious mind is a doozy.
After today is over, I will get my last dose of Taxotere on November 9th, which is officially the end of "chemotherapy." But I won't be celebrating just yet. Because next comes...
Starting around Thanksgiving, I get six weeks of daily radiation treatments. Every morning will go into a machine that directs a tight beam of radiation at my chest and axilla (underarm) to eradicate any remaining cancer in that local area only. I've been told the treatments take about 20 minutes, so it won't take much of my day. I have also been told it can be very tiring, though, and to make allowances for possible exhaustion through that time.
If the timing is right, my News Year's gift will be saying goodye to 2011 and to radiation therapy both. "Adios! Ciao! Don't let the door hit you on the way out! *laugh*"
Once radiation ends, I'll go back to every-three-week infusions of TDM1 for most of 2012. They don't officially call TDM1 "chemotherapy," but they might as well, since it's chemo in every way that counts -- at least to me.
It's infused into a port in my chest like Taxotere, it takes half a day at the infusion center, it leaves me feeling yucky, it raises my liver counts and lowers my platelets, messes with my blood, and generally has chemo-like effects.
BUT IT KILLS CANCER! And that's what counts. And thank the Good Lord I am blessed enough to be able to get it.
Okay, I'm going to hit the shower now, put on some nice clothes, load up the car with dry ice and cold caps, and drive with my husband down to Boston for my treatment. Please send prayers to us both and wish me health.