Paclitaxel

This week I have moved on from my four rounds of EC to 12 weeks of Paclitaxel. 

Overall I found the EC relatively straight forward. I always had at least half the cycle when I felt relatively normal and only 3 days or so of feeling rough. The worst period was always the first few days of Filgrastim injections where the side effects of those would combine with the side effects of the chemo itself. Bone aches, tinnitus, plus bowel problems. The sense of taste was also always compromised for a week or so. 

Paclitaxel involves less wrap around drugs than EC. I had to take an antisickness tablet and a stomach protector before it started, then they delivered a steroid and an antihistamine from a drip through my port. Paclitaxel put in the same way and infused over an hour. No steroids to take home and no Filgrastim to take. 

it’s early days as my first dose went in yesterday, but so far so good. The steroids had their usual effect in that I was awake and buzzing for a lot of last night, but they have also given me the energy to get through today without dozing. I am hoping that means I will sleep normally tonight. Unfortunately my sense of taste is already compromised and I am hoping this is short lived rather than something that will still be going on when I go for chemo next week. I was warned I might wake up with a rash on my face but all was ok, other than my skin feels quite dry. The big side effect risk on this treatment is peripheral neuropathy, which isn’t likely to arrive this early in the process. 

I now have my initial “risks and benefits” discussion on radiotherapy booked for early October. Fortunately my cancer was in my right breast, so risk to the heart isn’t an issue, but I have concerns for my lung and skin. I also have a visceral reaction to tattoos that borders on phobia so I need to push for a way of doing this that doesn’t leave permanent visible marks. I know they are small, but you wouldn’t tell someone who had a phobia of spiders that they had to permanently have a small live spider stuck onto the middle of their chest. I have heard you can sometimes push for marks that can only be seen under UV light and think I could probably compromise on that. Sadly I am not likely to be found dancing topless in a nightclub. 

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