My penultimate chemo (number seven) was 2 days ago - New Year's Eve/
HG woke me from my sofa slumber at 11:15pm to make sure I didn't miss the welcoming of 2019! 🎉
Overall, I've been very lucky during chemotherapy and haven't suffered too much. At the change of drug (treatments five to eight), I felt anxious. Not knowing how the effects of the Taxol would affect me was like being back at the beginning of chemo. I was worried that the 10 steriod pills (5 at 6pm & 5 at 10pm) the night before chemo would keep me up all night. I slept okay and the only major effects I experienced were swollen, sore hands for a couple of days - possibly from the overlap in chemo drugs, because I thankfully haven't had it happen again. Other side effects include neuropathy (tingly hands/feet), which I've been affected by minimally.I have started having hot flushes at night though.Interesting & strange... I haven't had a period since the first few weeks of chemo and we've hardly had sex (whaaaah!).
I have been taking Grastofil, which is a brand name for Filagrastim. "Filgrastim belongs to the family of medications known as granulocyte colony stimulating factors (G-CSF). It helps the bone marrow produce white blood cells, which help the body fight infection." (Thanks, Google). So I initially injected my stomach (alternating sides) 11 times, starting 48hrs after my last chemo had ended. They live in the fridge so going out for a day/afternoon takes pre-planning! There is also an injection which can be taken once per chemo round, however this seems to be for those with "better" insurance than us, but also seems to cause more intense side effects - bone pain.
My white blood cell count (WBC) was initially very high; beginning at 13.6 (4-11 is normal), after the second blood test showed my WBCs had reached 28.4, my oncologist reduced me to 8 jabs. I've mostly been taking 8 and this seemed ok for the first chemo treatments, but my levels rocketed (changed to 6 jabs) then have crashed down to 3.3 so I've been put back up to 8 jabs.
Neutrophils are the infection-fighting white blood cells, and a friend had mentioned keeping an eye on mine.
Last Friday, mine were 1.3 - with the minimum they usually like being 1.5. I'm a really bad germophobe, but have been attempting to stay away from crowds, watching out for coughs & colds etc.
I spend a lot of my time at home these days; looking after myself! I've had lots of visitors, packages and messages of love.
I cannot believe there is only more more chemo treatment to go! I've become quite happy in my chemo hibernation cave!
Following the final treatment - number eight - I will have my usual 2 weeks 'recovery', jabs etc. then a couple more weeks until radiation treatment ('therapy') begins. This will be closer to my Dad's, so the plan is that I'll stay with him & my stepmum a few nights a week (this could help keep me healthier & munching less but we'll see!).
My stepmum is on the keto diet and my Dad is a pescatarian. A friend has mentioned the Blood Type Diet recently (anyone have any info?) and I'm also being nudged towards a naturopath (Tom is very anti), who will most likely want to sell me more appointments, expensive blood tests and numerous supplements. I recently asked a fellow breast cancer survivor friend, who said she was now a 'nutritarian'. I think mostly plant-based suits me/my body - as much as HG raves about animal protein being the best/quickest. I'm avoiding red meat as much as possible and chicken (I had unofficially given up turkey) unless it's hormone free/organic. I'm still eating fish here and there.
I think this is long enough! I'll add some pics! 😃
Testing all the vital signs... 31/12/18