Friday, May 13, 2016

Taxol Day One

I started the new chemo drug today, Taxol. My wonderful mother-in-law kept me company again, and I'm feeling quite good again this evening.

In my pre-infusion oncology visit, the PA couldn't find the lump at all either, and she wasn't concerned about the small soft lump I found earlier this week just under my right collarbone. She said it felt like just a little subcutaneous fatty deposit but said just to be safe I should check it about once a week and let them know if it changed at all.

We had a little over an hour between my appointment and my infusion time, so we walked over to the hospital to get a bit of lunch and pass the time. We didn't even get lost in the hospital, despite going a different way! Yay us!

Since the risk of allergic reaction is much higher with this drug, I had some IV Benadryl and other premeds, and the nurse sat with me for the first 15 minutes of receiving the med, and I did just fine--no reactions at all. I was surprised the Benadryl didn't knock me out, since it usually does just in pill form.

I stayed awake to keep the lead in Phase 10 with my mother-in-law all the way to the 9th phase before getting stuck (that's what happens when she deals me a run of 9 on a phase where I need a set of 5 and a set of 2) and lose the game in the next round. I suppose since she gives up her Fridays to chauffeur and keep me company, she deserves to win occasionally. (grumblegrumblegrouse; she probably has a horseshoe up her butt)

The oncology PA had asked my oncologist to check in with me about breastfeeding, as there was no note in the chart yet about it. He came by just before I started the Taxol and spent about 20 minutes with us. He'd also received the correct FMLA form (since the ones I'd been given by the now-no-longer-employed-by-my-agency HR director aren't actually legal) and filled them out with me. He was intrigued by our Phase 10 game (as are all of the staff who pass by us when we play), so we offered to deal him in. He declined saying something about his other patients not being very pleased at having to wait for him so he could play a card game. Oh well).

Then he gave me the disappointing news about breastfeeding. After doing his own research and talking with both my OB and the Boston oncologist, whom he considers the premier expert in treating young women with breast cancer (aww, he calls me young), he said he thinks it's just too risky. There is no evidence it causes harm, but it hasn't been studied. That leaves the possibility that the drug could be metabolized and still pass through breast milk, even for a few weeks after taking it. It's never been clinically studied, and it never will, because ethical guidelines rightfully prohibit medical testing in pregnant women and infants. That just isn't a risk that he--or Kevin and I--are comfortable with. Baby Brotzman has been through quite enough already.

I had been trying to get my head around the notion that this was a very real possibility, but I'd also been holding on to the hope that I could get a week of breastfeeding out of this ordeal, in that week I had off from chemo, so it's pretty disappointing. I actually haven't let myself think about it too much yet, because I know that as soon as I do, I'm going to have to have a sob fest to grieve it. It sucks. It really sucks. It was the thing I was looking forward to most with having a biological kid, and I'm not going to lie; it's going to be hard for met to accept. Once I let myself cry about it, I'll acknowledge all the things my brain knows, but first, my heart has to mourn.

The Taxol infusion is much quicker than the A-C, which is nice. It'll be even nicer when my appointments are in the morning and we can get back home and still have the afternoon to do things--or not do things. Today, I took about a 20 minute nap before we headed to Kevin's parents' for our customary Friday night pizza dinner. What with the two hour hiatus from sleeping from 4-6 this morning (thanks, bladder and brain!), bed is now calling my name quite loudly, so I think I'll heed that call.

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