Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Runny Nose Saga

Tomorrow is the last day of 2010, and I'm thinking it's OK to see it go.  It was not the best of years, and perhaps not the worst, but I will be glad to see it go.  A new year always comes with plenty of promise and hope; and lots of new plans and goals. " It's a good thing", as Martha would say!

My husband and I still have our miserable colds.  Today we decided to play hooky from life and just be lazy all day napping and watching TV from our bed.  And we both actually did sleep and must have needed it.  I know coughing and stuffed noses have kept us both up during the night for a few nights and I, for one, was plenty tired.

I was beginning to realize that my nose has been "running" for a fact, since I began this treatment.  Plus, my eyes are always "watering".  I do have dry eyes and use drops, but as I thought about it, this has also increased since this latest treatment.  So I did a little on-line research and found that a "clear runny nose" and "runny eyes" have been experienced by a lot of patients who have been on Taxol.  I'M NOT CRAZY THEN!  It seems this is another side effect experienced by some people.  It reminds me of how I get with my allergies, and how the only thing that helps is Claritin.  And low and behold...that is exactly what my fellow patients have been taking to slow down the constant running from nose and eyes.  One patient told a story of getting stopped by a police officer for a broken taillight and having to convince him that her runny eyes and nose were not caused by drugs...but by her chemo!  Another patient, a teacher, mentioned having tissues in every corner of the room and in every pocket she owned just so she could catch her runny nose before it fell down her face and embarrassed her in front of her students.

Because as gross as it is to talk about, that's how out of control it is.  You lean over and it just pours like water out of your nose!  Or you are standing there talking to someone and realize that you had best make an excuse and find a tissue fast!  I thought it was all due to the cold, but now realize it is just another added "extra" from the new treatment.  There is just no end to all the little surprises along the way.

So today I went and got my Claritin and indeed, it is a little better.  I also don't find myself coughing as much from all the darn fluid flowing out of my body and I hope it will also somehow help me get rid of this cold.  Feeling tired as much as I do, I don't need this cold dragging me down any further.  I've got a lot of stuff coming up I need to attend to.

That's my story for today.  Tomorrow night as you welcome in the New Year, spend some time thinking of all the blessing of this current year and how you have grown as a person through your experiences.  Then look forward to this New Year with all it will bring for you and your family.  And I hope it brings only good things!  Happy, Blessed New Year to all!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ebb and Flow

My husband and I have had miserable colds.  I get this dry cough that has just been driving me nuts...and making me wonder if I was going to be able to get chemo today.  I wasn't sure yet what constitutes the borderline for "chemo" or "no chemo" (I feel like I'm talking about a game show).  My oncologist is away in Florida seeing her in-laws, so I saw another doctor today.  And my husband is right...she looked even younger than my oncologist!  It's funny how doctors are getting younger and younger (could it be I'm getting older...nah..)

But I was given the stamp of approval and permission to get my 3rd round of Taxol chemo.  YEA!!  I even told her the whole story of my cold and just how horrible my cough sounds at night.  And still, it was OK!  My anemia is improving also.  I am now at 10.2, up from 9.5 last time (11 is "normal).  So I was a "happy camper".

The place was hopping today!  With the snowstorm that rocked the east coast Sunday through Monday, the cancer center was closed yesterday.  That meant the patients there today were the ones scheduled for yesterday AND today!  They needed every seat in the place and a lot of the "guests" of patients were told to go to the waiting room so they could use the guest chairs for patients who needed them.  People were coming and going all day long, and the nurses were just running around getting everyone their meds as quickly as they could.  It reminded me of the ocean and how it can be fierce and then calm; high tide and then low tide; the ebb and flow of a day at the beach.  

It was a quiet group at first.  I think everyone was just tired from the holiday and the snow day.  There was a nice woman next to me, who was accompanied by her daughter-in-law, who was getting a treatment for the first time at the cancer center (she had already received one treatment from a hospital).  I heard her asking the nurse about her port and could tell she was nervous about it.  Knowing how it felt to go through the unknown, I was able to lean over and let her know just what would happen and how it would feel and that it would be OK.  I know I wish someone could have done this for me.  It felt good to be able to calm her a little.  I also talked with a woman across from me who was diagnosed about the same time I was (during the summer),  She is already done with surgery (and had the double mastectomy), had been through the "red devil" (and had a hell of a time like I did), and was now also getting the Taxol.  Only her regimen had her on the higher dosage, which is once every three weeks, for four treatments.   She is having a lot of problems with "restless leg syndrome" and with her feet.  I was secretly glad to be on the lower dosage since I have not yet had too many problems.  In fact, whatever little problems I have (dry mouth, sensitive teeth, still no hair and losing some eyelashes, tiredness, heavy legs, and "chemo brain") seem so small in comparison to what I went through on Ms. Devil herself.  I still am not sure if there will be any symptoms that will pop up as I go along, but for now, everything is "not bad".   Quite the ebb and flow from one treatment to another. 

Once again I slept through the treatment once I got the Benedryl.  I usually get  a saline drip; a "flush"; my pre-meds of a steroid, an anti-nausea drug, Prevacid, the benedryl; flush; Taxol; Herceptin (which also has its own side effects); another flush; an injection of Heparin into the port to ensure there are no clots; then the port needle is taken out and I am ready to go home.  I might have forgotten something (or actually, have slept through something), but you get the idea.  Each of these meds just drips into your line at a rate that is determined to be best for you.  That is why some drips take an hour, some can take three or four hours.  And when it is backed up like today, it can take even more time.  We were there at 10, and left today at 4....a long day.

I am now down to 9 remaining treatments!  As my husband said, "We're now in the single digits!"  And even though some days it seems I just can't do this one more week, I know it will be OK.

I read somewhere that a survivor said just walking into the elevator of her cancer center makes her feel nauseous even years later.  I know what she means since walking across the street and into the building has me feeling tired and weary before I even begin.  It's just the nature of the treatment...the ups and downs of your emotions and your health...a rollar coaster ride you seem to keep riding without knowing where or how  to get off.

I leave you today with a familiar quote that may seem out of place at first....from Sir Isaac Newton who said, "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction"....thus the good and the bad; the ebb and the flow.  This quote reminds me we'll all come out on the other side of this at some point and will be better patients, better people and survivors of this crazy journey.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Hope

Today is Christmas Eve, and it always seems such a wonderful holy time!  Of course, if you go to the malls, it's not so fact it can be downright deadly with all the pushing, shoving, and grabbing.  But at home, with quiet music playing, and a rest on the couch, it is a day of peace.

I have a horrible cold.  In fact, I am thinking if it doesn't get better, I don't think they will give me the Taxol this week.  And I am hoping my bloods are up, otherwise, it's another transfusion.  But...that's for Tuesday, and I have a few days to go.

My husband and I have determined that we think we will be OK to sing at church tonight.  It's an early service, at 7 PM, and we can be home early.  We have sung at the Christmas Eve service for so long, that it is almost a part of "our Christmas tradition".  We are going to sing "Night of Silence", which is one of our favorites.  Then my husband will be going on Midnight Mass (did I mention that we are an "inter-faith" Christian couple...he is Catholic, and I am Lutheran) but I am taking a pass this year.  Usually, we go to both of our churches on Christmas and Easter.

For now, we are resting on the couch so we are "good" for tonight.  Christmas Eve service is important to both of us...feeling a little yucky or not.

I hope you also will be joining your church family and people all over the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the hope of His coming again.  Tonight, let the light that is Christ come into your heart and bring you peace.  Blessed Christmas!   

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Benedryl Woman Walking

Yesterday was the second Taxol treatment.  I went in with a cold and was hoping that would not prevent me from getting the treatment.   I was looking forward to being able to begin the countdown from 10 for the next 10 Tuesdays.  It's almost a better number to countdown from since even Sesame Street Kids can countdown from 10 to 1 and then that lovely number 0

I was lucky...even with the cold, I could go ahead with the chemo.  I was told I can also take whatever I normally do for a cold, since there are no restrictions on Taxol and that was good news!  I'll breathe much better tonight.  My bloods came out OK, except it showed I am still anemic, but not in danger zone right now.  However, she did warn me that it is possible there is another blood transfusion in my future; I just have to wait and see.

We got in about 11:00, but didn't officially get started until about 12:30.  I was given the saline drip, as normal, and then the pre-meds.  You do remember me mentioning that Benedryl as a part of pre-meds?  It was here again as it will always be, and this time I just laid back the minute it was hooked up and was asleep a nanosecond later.  

About half-way through the treatment, my subconcious heard a voice I knew and I fought to get my eyes open.  It was my fellow breast cancer pal who is going through radiation downstairs.  She stopped knowing I was there and she was chatting with some of the chemo ballroom patients.  I love her laugh and it called to me through my Benedryl unconsiousness.  I said "hello" and she came over.  I have no idea what we discussed now.  I remember her talking, but it was like those Peanut character's never hear what they are saying except the noise.  My eyes felt like they were rolling and I could barely say "good-bye".  But I knew she understood and I was even glad for the toe-pinch she gave me as a hug.

So, I remember nothing of this time yesterday.  It was even difficult to wake up to go home.  I was glad my husband was there and I was almost falling asleep in the car.  Needless to say, when we got home, I ate something and then fell asleep for a few hours again.  That stuff sure does it's job and more so!

I had been hoping to go to this great new Christmas worship at our church for the "Longest Night" which was a more sober celebration for those who are experiencing loss, illness or other sadness in their lives.  But, I could only snore on my couch, so missed it.

The whole day was in a Benedryl Dream again, and although I was walking or talking, I had no idea what was going on in front of me.  I was a "Benedryl Woman Walking".  However, I am better today so if you see me, I will actually be able to acknowledge you and understand what you are saying!

Hopefully, this week will be a repeat of last, and I will feel well all week.  It would be good to feel well during Christmas.  I will keep you posted.  Keep those lights burning inside and get to church this Christmas to celebrate the Christ who came to earth as a babe, and who will come again!    

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Oil in my Lamp

I am going to warn you that today's blog is a little different.  It is probably more deep and inspirational than my others.  And there are probably some of you who are uncomfortable with "deepness" so I recommend that you skip this blog!  

It also is reflective of my faith, which is a big part of me.  Only read on if don't mind a little inspirational talk today through some deep thoughts of mine.  I'm not offended if you don't.  (Hey..I won't even know...LOL!)

I am feeling still wonderfully good today after the Taxol chemo; and I am somewhat energized by this feeling.  I am also feeling extremely thankful for this and trying to be aware of how I can tend myself in a way that will keep this positive feeling continuing. 

I received help in this from a friend's e-mail that sent me to a inspirational site:  ( -- if you are interested).  This site spoke of how we must tend ourselves so we can be what we need to be for ourselves and for others.

I do think we sometimes forget this.  Whether we are in the midst of dealing with cancer; or just going about our daily grind, we do forget to "add oil to our own lamps" so we can be a better and more fulfilled...US!  There are a lot of poems and biblical passages that deal with light and its effect on life.  Living in darkness can be even more tiring and stressful than making sure there is enough light in your life.  But only you can put it there or ensure it remains there.

At this time of year when lights are all around us reminding us of the holiday season...whether it be lights on the Christmas tree, a menorah for Hanukkuh, or Jesus, the Light that Came Into the World; it is a good time to remember how these lights are a part of us and we should nurture them within us.

As the website said, the world needs our flame...our energy...our presence...our "light".  Yet, we cannot be any of that without making sure to "add oil to our own lamps" so they are able to produce the light needed.  I know everyone has their own way of re-charging (adding oil to that lamp).  My way is through prayer, with the support of family and friends, and trying to think beyond myself so I don't get so tied up in feeling sorry for myself (ok...I don't always succeed, but I try).  

Whatever your way is...whether its the same as mine...or if you use yoga, or meditation, or reading, or looking at a beautiful scene of nature, etc., do it!  Don't let your light fade and start stumbling in the dark.  It is a very sad and lonely place to be.  Sometimes you really have to dig deep to make the changes necessary to even begin to feel your light.  Changes needed can be big or small...but they are needed changes if you are feeling overwhelmed and you are in a dark place. It's easy to get lost there and so stuck that you don't or can't get out.  But the path out is always available right before you.  

I hope you find your light within and do all you can to keep it burning brightly...I'll be working on the same.  What a better time to begin than the week before Christmas with all the joy this event brings!   

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dancing Through Chemo Two

I received a card the other day from a friend that spoke of the dance we experience in life and the need to just keep dancing through all life shows us through the hills and valleys.  I liked that imagery and it had me thinking of this graceful waltz back and forth through a room full of other graceful dancers.  It's how I feel sometimes as I amble through this chemo dance. 

It's not always graceful, however.  In fact, many times it is downright clumsy.  But the new chemo treatment on Tuesday was a graceful one.  Mainly because of the Benedryl.  Let me explain.  It seems that Taxol is a drug that can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people.  To protect the patient from this possible reaction, one of the pre-meds given is Benedryl....50 mg. in fact.  Enough to probably put an elephant to sleep; and certainly someone my size.  I didn't really think about it while it was dripping into my vein.  I was more worried about that "severe allergic reaction" in spite of the protective Benedryl and kept thinking how the chemo nurse said she would "have to watch me for a while" after I was getting the Taxol.  That was enough to scare me!  So, the Benedryl was dripping but I was just panicking in my seat.  Until suddenly, the bag was empty and it was time for the Taxol.  Only, I felt like I had been shot by a tranquilizer dart!  I only had time to say to my husband, "I'm feeling really funny!", when I fell back into my chair and fast asleep.  So I had no time to worry about my reaction to the drug.  And in fact, thankfully, there was none.  I was gracefully floating across the chemo dance floor in a Benedryl dream.  It was even hard to wake up to go the bathroom and then home.  Once home, I fell asleep again for a few more hours.  It was a wonderful thing!  And now, I get to experience this each week for the next 12 weeks.  A wonderful, graceful, flowing dance of peace and contentment.

What's even better is that today, the day after treatment, I feel very good.  I'm not sure how long this will last, but it is in stark contrast to how I felt with the "red devil".  The day after her treatment, I had the headaches, the "unwell feeling" and the buzz of the crash to come.  But today, blessed relief of feeling good!  They did tell me that after the second or third day I will probably get some aches and pains that will last a couple days, but I can deal with that easily after the "red devil" and her violent tango.  There are also some side effects that will come after more of the treatments, but then again, maybe some of these I might escape.  Time will tell.

For today, I am gliding across the dance floor free of pain and nausea and able to move freely when and where I want.  And for that, I am most thankful and feel incredibly blessed.  Even if it is just this one day.    

We will see what the rest of the week brings.  The next treament will be next Tuesday, and then again for each of the next 10 Tuesdays.  That is, unless my counts are down, I get sick, etc.  If that happens, it may be a little longer.  

What I am looking forward to is springtime, with its dance around the Maypole in a celebration of new life.  That's the dance I look forward to the most!  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Refilled and Recharged

On Friday I went to the infusion room at the cancer center for my blood transfusion.  The worse part of it all was listening to them rattle off all the "what if's" before they started.  It was like listening to a TV commercial for some type of medication where they give you all the side effects that could ever happen in 20 seconds, speaking so fast that you can only hear words like "bleeding", "lose of eyesight" or "death".  The blood transfusion, however, was quite uneventful.  Just weird thinking that someone else's blood is now in my body traveling all over helping to make more blood.  But, thank God, it is doing its job!  My poor husband had just had major dental work done a couple days before and was still a little swollen and sore, but he came to be with me the whole day.  What a trooper!  I was willing to do it myself, but in hindsight now, I am so glad he came.  The transfusion took about 3 hours, and then the muga scan about another couple hours.  By that time, I was so tired I was glad to have him to lean on.

The infusion center was a step up from the chemo ballroom.  It had TV's overhead and a remote and earphones for the patient.  They also served lunch from the hospital cafeteria...and it was good!  I was so happy to see that one of the nurses from the chemo ballroom also worked in the infusion room and she was my nurse for the day.  It was very comforting.  What wasn't comforting was that in the middle of my infusion, we all heard the fire alarm go off.  Usually, those things are turned off quickly as someone discovers the cause is more mechanical than anything else.  But the alarm kept going and the word was passed that we needed to GET OUT!  So, here we are, gathering our stuff and nurses throwing blankets over us and pushing our IV poles into the lobby and then outside.  Quite an adventure.  The fire department arrived and about 10 firefighters came inside and quickly discovered it was indeed a mechanical problem.  So, we were allowed back in and hooked up once more.  Just a little diversion...but a cold one!

After the transfusion, my husband and I headed over to the hospital for the muga scan.  The scan itself is not a horrible one, so I wasn't too worried.  I was only anxious about the results and about the blood I knew they would have to draw before the scan.  But the nurse there was really good and got the blood quickly (I guess it also helped that I just had a refill!)They mix this with a little radioactive stuff, let it sit for 1/2 hour, and then re-inject you with it just before the scan.  This scan has a thin table to lie on with a pillow for your head surrounded by a couple posts to make sure you don't moveYou are asked to put your hands over your head, and then the table enters the chamber and the scan clicks its way around your heart.  Your head is just about sticking out, so it's not too uncomfortable.  And it is over in about 15 minutes.

We no sooner got home, then a nurse from the oncologist's office called to say that everything was OK.  She knew I was worried, and wanted me to know the results before the weekend so I wasn't anxious all weekend.  I so appreciated that!

The next day, we went to breakfast as usual, and I was feeling a little better.  After resting a bit at home, we decided to go and get our Christmas tree.  We had been hoping to do this with my son and his family, who once again could not make it here due to my granddaughter being sick.  But, we still needed a tree, so went to a local church where they also had some wreath making, hot chocolate and donuts, music, etc.  It was fun and after decorating the tree, I was done.  I took another nap, and then we had some company who came to cheer us up and share some cheer for a couple hours.  It was some good friends and my favorite nephew and "old-same".  It felt so good to be with them and to almost feel like I could be "normal" again.  I did "poop out" on them and put my pj's on before they left and told them I needed to go to bed.  But, they are all good friends, so I knew they understood.

Today was Sunday and it was an absolutely miserable day.  My husband gave me strict orders not to go out and to stay in bed and rest some more.  I took his advice, called the Pastor to tell him I wouldn't be there, and then went back to bed.  I was tired from all we did the day before, and watching the weather glad I didn't go out.  But I am feeling better and stronger and so glad to be feeling this way.  Just appreciate feeling's after you feel so realize what a gift feeling good can be.  

My final word is to watch out for vampires, but know if you do come across one, you can always get a refill at the infusion center and be recharged and ready to go!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Is there a Vampire Hiding in my House?

I am somewhat relieved today.  I did go to my oncologist and after looking at my bloods, she told me that I am severely anemic, and need a blood transfusion which will be done tomorrow morning first thing.  Relieved, you are saying???  Yes, I am!

At first I wanted to ask for a mirror so I could check my neck for the fang marks.  She assured me, though,  it was no Vampire, just a combo of chemo and my lousy eating lately.  It sure does explain why I have been feeling as badly as I have!  Honestly, I thought it was all chemo-related until she went over the symptoms with me and then even I could put it all together.  Since this is my first time with chemo, though, (and let's hope the last!) I thought feeling so horrid was "normal"...well, it is....but I guess feeling this horrid is not.

I'm still annoyed that some chemo Vampire might have come in and taken my blood while I wasn't looking!  And if he was half as good looking as the Vampires in the movies (not my type, ...but some people I work with LOVE THEM...and you know who you are!) then I wish I had been awake or something while he was there.  But as is my luck,  it's just the luck of the draw with the "red devil vampire".

It even makes sense now why they just could not get the blood for the testing today, and had to use the port, which they don't usually have to do.  I must really be running on empty.  Thank God this ought to do the job, and I should be feeling much better by the weekend.

I've also been thinking about something that I wanted to say at one point and this is as good a time as any.  I have been talking a lot about what people have done for me...but this journey is also about what I can do and be for others and for finding new guidelines in life for what's important and what is not .  I realize how I have let some relationships in my life go, and I regret that now.  I have also not always been as good a friend as I could have been to others.  I have sometimes been judgemental, or sarcastic, or too proud to admit I am wrong.  I am seeing myself in my own eyes and knowing I can and should change some things.  And I will do my best, with God's help.  Especially after all the love He has shown me through others, I need to show more of it back.

WOW..deep!  I want you to know, though, that right now, I am throwing you some of that love and will give you a big hug when I can.  Cancer has brought me good people...but will also make me a better person.  Bring on the blood, Mr. Vampire Man!             

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bouncing Back? Not so much...

This last round has really taken its toll.  It is now Tuesday, and while I usually don't feel "great" this day, I don't usually feel this bad either.  My legs are so weak that it feels like I am running a marathon just getting from the couch to the bathroom.  Walking upstairs is like a monumental mountain climb that leaves me out of breath if I go too fast...or feeling like I will pass out.  I have more aches and pains in my joints than I have had the entire time so far and a headache that won't quit.  And chills that come and go along with the hot flashes.

I have kept a running commentary on my calendar about how I have felt each day since the beginning, and it does show a progression of tiredness and weakness each time.  But I was unprepared for just how weak I would feel this time.  

I got my appointment for my muga scan for this Friday, the day after I go to the oncologist's office to have my bloods checked.  So, I am hoping that by Thursday when I go to the oncologist's office I am feeling a little better.  Otherwise, I am getting worried about feeling like this and will talk to her about it.

I have found during this whole process that I have been talking to God through my head and I first  thank Him for the people around me and for the treasures that are my life.  And I have also been fervently asking for strength to endure this and a courage to see it through.  I have wavered between doubt and hope many times, and when people tell me how strong I am...I want to refute it and tell them how I am sometimes scared to death and unwilling to go on.  But there seems to be no choice and I am on this "railroad ride from hell" till its last stop.

I heard about Elizabeth Edwards tonight and of course, it is a scary thing.  First, I know our prayers are for her family and we know she is now at peace.  But, of course, it makes me also think about myself (selfish maybe, reality maybe).  I know mine was caught in its early stages, but every once in a while, I confront my own mortality and hope that indeed it was caught in time.  I also hope it has everyone of you realizing the importance of mammograms and ultrasounds and self-checks and that you don't make any more excuses and make your appointment now.  I even think beginning at 40 years old as is recommended is too late....going through this...I would start much earlier and feel much safer starting at a younger age.  

While there have been many hard times and moments I have been overwhelmed, I do want you to know that there really have been some very wonderful, touching times as well.  I am still amazed at the goodness of people who really do care about me and who call or send cards just to let me know they are thinking of me.  Particularly at this stage in the game when it is going on so long.  Yesterday I received two of those calls.  One from a friend of my husband's that called for the second time (not to talk to my husband), but to "check in" and hear from me how I was feeling,  even though I know he reads this blog.  And the second phone call was from someone I know, but not too well, who called just to cheer me up.  My niece has offered to come and be with me many times lately, but unfortunately always seems to be at a time when I am feeling lousy...yet she keeps checking on me and letting me know she is there if I need her.  The friend that cooks keeps bringing meals once a week; as well as some friends from my husband's church.  I have received an offer of a "make-over" from a wonderful spirit-filled lady and an offer to clean my house from another friend.  And my husband and I have become closer and more affectionate than we have been in our entire soon-to-be 40 years of marriage.  These are the blessings that God delivers when we need it the most.

So, hoping that the next few days I can somehow get some of "me" back; maybe not by bouncing so much, but by crawling instead, but I am hoping to get there.  I thank you all for your encouragement and want you to know how much it means and how much it is helping me to keep my spirits up.   

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Here We Go Again!

Well, we knew the crash would be coming, so it was no surprise when it arrived!  I keep telling myself..."last time for this particular crash" and it is helping.  Although once again on Thursday, I could feel that "cloud of yuckiness" coming to descend and was not looking forward to it at all.  And it didn't disappoint...came on Thursday all during the day and by Friday I was just a "couch potato mess"!  

It felt like a really bad flu with a really dry mouth and dry everything else added to it.  You want to drink continuously just to make your mouth feel better, but of course, anything you put in your stomach does a rebound!  I tend to chew numerous pieces of sugarless gum just to make it all go away.  I have even put gum in my mouth all night long so when I wake up, I can chew to make the dryness go away somewhat.  It really is a never ending gift of symptoms and side effects.

This morning, Saturday, I thought I was feeling a little better.  It is our habit (my husband and I) to have breakfast together at a local diner on Saturday mornings.  I thought, "I can do this!"  And even though my husband had his doubts, we did it and I even made it through a pancake!  Coming home, I told him there were a few Christmas decorations in the garage that I wanted to bring upstairs.  So, we hunted through our boxes, found what I wanted and each brought a couple things up the stairs.  

He got his chance to say "I told you so!" because by the time I reached the top of the stairs, once again the dizziness and spots before my eyes appeared and I thought I was going to pass out.  But at least this time he was there and I didn't panic.  I knew I had done too much, too soon.  So, back on the couch I went with strict orders from him not to move!

Next week I have to get another MugaScan (heart muscle) to see if the "red devil" has left any signs of heart damage.  Which is one of the side effects that she can have and why she is a devil to take.  I don't have a good heart history in my family, so I am hoping this will come out OK.  Then I also go to the oncologist office for the blood check, and to hear more about the next regime.  

I keep reading about the Taxol, and the side effects are somewhat worrisome as they mention frequently the numbness and tingling in the fingers (that ought to help with my computer work), and how it will effect fingernails and the potential to even lose some fingernails.  The fingernails will always grow back, they say, but the numbness and tingling could last for a while.  So, it's a little unnerving to be going through it.  And not knowing yet what my personal reaction to it will be is the mystery that haunts me.  I've been put on the "lower dosage", which is good, except it is spread out for a longer period of time...12 weeks to be exact.  A really, really long time it seems to me.

Next weekend my son and his family are supposed to be coming for our Christmas visit.  I am hoping this one will work out unlike the planned Thanksgiving that couldn't happen.  By then, I should be feeling fine and able to have a good visit.  

So for now, Here We Go Again with a little bit of the same, and a lot of the  fear of the unknown thrown in.