Thursday, June 26, 2008

Post Chemo Crash Day 2

So, after talking to my oncologist, Taxol can hit 36 hours after the administration and take about 24 hours to pass/peak. That peak hit yesterday afternoon around 4:00. Dear God. But it was good to know it would pass that peak point and not stay there forever.

Today, joints hurt I didn't even know I had! Someone please get the license plate number of the truck that hit me?

While I feel, I think, the worst I have ever felt in my life, it is indeed passing. Wew. It helps to Zen into it and pray. It is the only way at some points.

And this is the "easy" stuff. I have so much empathy for the harder hitting chemo drugs and the people who take them. They deserve a badge of courage.

The worst for this week is over. Now recoup. And learn. Learn how to rest, eat, and do the dance around the chemo days to make the post days go easier. My oncologist said that is the way it goes. You experience it, then adapt. Much like life.

So for today, my super-chemo-ninja-badge looks something like this:

The following info was added Oct. 14th as a FOLLOW UP. I see from my dashboard to this site, that the number one referral from goggle to this blog is if people search for "Chemo Crash." I top this the list. So I would like to add the following information - in case you don't read beyond this one entry.

It turns out that I had an allergic reaction to Taxol. (see here for that entry) Which explains why it was such a hard crash afterwards. I know a dear friend of mine, on Taxol, who had VERY little issues with Taxol. So please, one of the most important things to know with chemo - is that EVERYBODY REACTS DIFFERENTLY. If you are having a nasty ride, I would HIGHLY recommend two things:

1) Finding a good acupunsturist who works with chemo patients. This alone will control side effects. I have seen this again and again. Anyone I know who lived FAR beyond their life expectancy did two things, found peace everyday, and did acupuncture. I had more people refer me to acupuncturists "their other friend who survived cancer", than any other CAM medicine.

2) Try hypnotherapy. I have a personal hypnotherapist, and I have a CD (see sidebar). Within hypnotherapy, we have created a control board, that allows me to create dials as needed. Pain? I create a nob and turn the number from 8 to 7, to 6, to 5 etc. White blood cells dropping? I create a nob, and turn it from 4.0 to 6.5. Just a quick note, my white blood cells have NEVER dropped below 4.1!!! And usually average 6.0 with peaks in the 7's!!!!!!!!!

If you are about to embark on your journey with Taxol, please do not EXPECT this horrible side effect reaction. It is highly unlikely. It was probably the allergy to the base the put Taxol in that did the harm. (see that blog entry here) But, again, please look into Alternative Therapies to help control side effects!!! My reaction was an allergy to the base they put Taxol drugs in to administer them.

This leads me to one last note on Taxol. I ended up switching from Taxol to Arbraxane. Abraxane has the same drugs in it as Taxol, but the base they put it in is different. It is some sort of human protein or something, so it is not foreign to the human body and has very little side effects. HOWEVER, the cost....went from around $30,000 on Taxol, to $50,000 for the Abraxane. EACH AND EVERY TIME I GET IT. NOT OVERALL!!!!! EACH DOSE!!!!!! This point always stuns people. I think I see their minds go >boom!<. Yes, each dose costs $50,000.

Now, for all of you freaking out, Insurance give In network a huge discount, and we only pay %10 after that til we hit our overall cap. But you should know, it takes a serious life threatening reaction to get put on Abraxane because of the expense. So, "regular" side effects won't get the switch. I am sorry if you are having a rougher ride, but don't expect to pay for the Abraxane out of pocket.


Okay, off to rest.



Ren said...

Hey Sweetie,
Glad you are around the corner on the peak time. That is one collage project with a lot of feeling I bet. Rest well daughter and heal.
Love from the heart

Kent, Melisa,Tiana (and Coda) said...

Glad to see today's post! I will see you later today with some dinner for whenever (it's freezeable!) and maybe spend some quality outdoor time with Lucky and Kara!