Well I think this is the longest time I've been away from the blog. Truth be told I've been to exhausted or uninspired to go near the computer and type in everything that has been going on. But today I'm feeling better so I best give you an update.
Well the last dose of Taxotere knocked me for six. The days after my infusion were brain addling, painful and long and only happily interrupted by Alison arriving. After a few days I was fine, and after a blood test my blood counts didn't even seem too bad. Everything was looking smooth sailing, especially important as it was school holidays and the kids were all a bit under the weather. Then the first Friday of the holidays I woke up feeling a bit gripy in my tummy. No nausea, no diarrhea but just a little sore. So I went to bed. Then I woke up with a fever at 37.7 C which is okay, but I rang into acutes just to check. I was told a doctor would call me right back, which by then my temp was at 37.9C and they usually start worrying if you reach 38C. So I had to make a 4pm Friday trip all the way over to the Emergency Dept at Auckland Hosp. Not a fun trip in peak traffic. The whole hour I thought I was going to faint.
By the time we got there my heart was racing like the clappers and my temperature was rapidly climbing, so off I went for a chest and stomach x-ray. Everything looked fine but a blood test revealed my blood counts to be too low. This is called a febrile neutropenic episode and requires a stay in hospital with IV antibiotics until my temperature, and more importantly my white blood counts (neutrophils) are at the stage the doctors are happy with. In my case it took a four night stay. Booo.
The good news was that I had a room to myself, a tv and some of the best staff you could ask for. Ever. My good friend Amanda was on for the night I was admitted and two other shifts so we had a great time together. Then the other staff who looked after me were so wonderful and caring and always had time for a chat, laugh, let me have a wee cry when I missed my sick babies all coughing and spluttering at home without me, as well as doing their job with the utmost professionalism.
If I had to be in any ward then ward 64 is the best! Thanks guys!!
I also had some lovely vistors armed with magazines, fresh coffee and muffins, chocolates and good laughs, so thank you Ange, Becs, Cookie, Lynne, Auntie Ruth and Uncle Kevin, Mum and Dad and Owen.
The bad news is I didn't have a camera to take the photos of the meals I was served. Bummer. I have to say that Auckland does a great roast lamb, but other than that, it was pretty standard hospital fare!
Anyway, I was back at Auckland this week with my 4th chemo dose, but my first FEC dose. This means my drugs for the last phase of chemo are different and I would be feeling different too. The first thing I noticed is they throw way more anti nausea drugs my way. So I was a bit nervous anticipating an increase in nausea, especially as I had done so well on the Taxotere. The infusion went well, no hiccups or drama. Owen and I took a walk up North Head to kill time before the kids got home from school but by the time we walked back to the car I was like a lump of lead. It had hit me straight away and I couldn't wait to get into bed. So the fatigue is definitely a harder thing this time. Today I'm feeling a little better...enough to make a wee trip with Alison to Pak'n'Save and then probably straight back home to the couch. But no sickness or nausea yet so I think those expensive drugs are doing their job so far...
The thing is, my hair has already started growing back as the Taxotere just thinned it, but this drug is definitely going to make sure that all falls out again. So I might well be losing my eyelashes too, which is what I dreaded much more. Ahh that vanity again...