Wk 8 of chemo begins...ups and downs of last week
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I'm off to Nashville today for wk 8 of 12 chemo treatments of Taxol. This past week was probably the hardest week so far (other than week 2 when I may have had food poisoning), but in retrospect, it was managable.
The things that made this past week harder were the increased fatigue I felt for almost the entire week and the UTI i got Sunday night. I'm pretty sure that my white and red blood cell counts went much lower during the week than they have in the past weeks. The UTI took a lot out of me Sunday night and it probably made Monday and Tuesday low energy days. I felt like someone had sucked out all my energy for most of the week.
Finally, yesterday afternoon, I started feeling a little peppy. I had a nap which helped a lot and went to a ballroom dance clase with my husband. It was our second class. It was the best thing I could have done for myself. I felt so much better when we left the class. I think the exercise of dancing also helped me get a good sound sleep last night. It's amazing what some good sleep and some gentle exercise can do for my energy levels.
I hope this week is easier. I know I can trudge through it if things are like this past week again, but weeks like that can take their toll. Five weeks in a row like last week would be hard on my emotional state and hard on my husband who had to do a lot more to take care of me. Five more weeks like last week would wear both of us down.
After I finish the next 5 weeks of chemo, I get at least two weeks off before I start then next chemo. That one will last two months (December and January). For that chemo, I go every two weeks for infusions instead of every week. Somehow, I got the bright idea that it might be nice to go to south Florida for those treatments. Jim's best friend lives in Stuart, Florida and I have a cousin that lives in Vero Beach. The second form of chemo that I'm getting tends to produce more fatigue and other side effects than this one. While I probably won't feel like doing much more than lying around in the shade, it would be nice to be in a place where the weather in nicer. It can be pretty gloomy in Tennessee in the winter.
Jim loves the idea. It's probably a good idea, but with my low energy levels right now, it also seems like a lot of work to get things arranged. The first step would be to talk to my oncologist and figure out where would be a good place for me to get medical care while I'm in Florida. From there, we could find housing that rents by the month. I think that once we are down there, things shouldn't be to difficult. It's just the logistics of getting things set up that seem more than I want to deal with right now. But that's not saying much, this week, there were days when it took me a couple hours of lying in a recliner to get up the energy to go take a shower! No wonder why I think working out a place to get treatment and a place to stay seem like a lot of work.
The good news is that, in reality, I probably would have to do very little if we decide to go through with this plan. Vanderbilt could set up the medical connections in Florida, and Jim would take care of the housing and packing. All I would have to do is get in the car and go for a 12 hour ride. That could even be split over two days if I wanted.
I guess I will just need to ask my doctor the question about getting treatments in Florida and see what happens.
In the grand scheme of things, this is what i call a "high quality" problem. I'm fortunate to be able to even consider doing something like this an option.
We'll see how it goes.
One last thing...I mentioned in an earlier blog that they are going to do a CT scan of my throat today because it has been bothering me for months. It kind of feels like a swollen gland or something that comes and goes, but is there most of the time. Of course, this morning, I woke up and my throat feels perfectly normal. I'm wondering if the antibiotic that I'm taking for the UTI has somehow helped what is going on with my throat. Who knows? I have a feeling whatever is going on there is going to be hard to figure out. Oh well.
Life goes on....
Edited: I'm in Nashville now and just got the results of my prechemo blood tests.....everything came back perfectly NORMAL!! Wow...I can't ask for any better than that! I have to believe that it is all the juicing that helps so much. I also am guessing that things probably went back to normal in the past 24 hours judging on how tired I have been. It's all good.