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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our Cancer Journey (Week 10)

Kathy is now finished with the hardest part of her chemotherapy regimen, Adriamycin/Cytoxan.   Next week, she begins Taxol every week for the next 12 weeks.    Taxol is typically far less fatiguing than AC.    It does have a problem that it is suspended in an solvent that can cause allergic reactions.   Her regimen will include supportive doses of diphenhydramine (benadryl) and dexamethasone (a steroid).

At last week's checkup, Kathy's oncologist could no longer locate the tumor.

Her breast surgeon will order an MRI at the completion of the Taxol cycles and if the tumor is undetectable, Kathy may be able to have to breast conserving surgery rather than a complete mastectomy.

On Taxol, her hair will begin to grow back and her energy is likely to rebound.   However, she is quite concerned about one side effect - a neuropathy causing numbness in her hands.    As an artist, she depends on a keen sense of touch to create her work.

She will no longer need Neulasta (a bone marrow stimulant).   She welcome the fact that Neulasta protected her from neutropenic nadirs/infections but really did not like the bone pain/total body aches that it caused.

So the journey continues and we feel that we've turned the corner.   It's too early to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but at least the tunnel will be easier to traverse for he next 12 weeks.

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