Sunday, September 13, 2009


can barely handle this.
It takes me until about 11:30 am to start feeling somewhat normal.
Like what is normal anymore?
I can't stop sweating from all of the steroids. And to be completely honest, this is far worse than I expected. I keep waking up sometime around 2 am coughing and trying to throw up at the same time. I thought all of these new tricks were done. Every time something new happens I'm like wow, now what?
7 more weeks of this?


  1. Hi Judy,
    I'm sorry to hear you're having such a hard time with the Taxol. I am a TNBC survivor myself who was diagnosed with stage IIa TNBC in March '09. Like yourself, I was doing fine with the AC part of the chemo (which everyone said was the toughest!) and really struggled with the Taxol (which everyone said should be a breeze...). My treatments were dose dense, i.e. four rounds of each "cocktail" (AC, Taxol) every other week, not the AC plus twelve round weekly Taxol regimen you seem to be on.
    In any case, my nerve/joint/muscle pain and my neuropathy in hands and feet got so bad that my oncologist switched me from Taxol to Taxotere for the last round (which I received last Thursday). This really helped with the pain, and the neuropathy is better, too. My oncologist claims it's just as effective as Taxol (just a different solvent, if I remember correctly), and I know it can be administered in twelve weekly doses like your Taxol. You should consider asking your oncologist about this (or other) medication alternatives if you're struggling so much with the Taxol.

    Breast cancer patients, particularly those on chemo, already suffer so much. In my opition there really is no need to suffer more than absolutely necessary... So when I'm unhappy I always investigate alternatives.
    Also, if you can't sleep you should ask your oncologist for something. Mine likes to prescribe Ativan (which is really an anti-anxiety drug) for the sleeplessness after steroids. I was skeptical at first, but it really worked for me. I couldn't have made it through the regular 'roids (and I didn't even have to take prednisone like you due b/c of your UC). Have you talked to your oncologist about that sort of thing? If not, give her a call! Again, why suffer more than absolutely necessary???
    Anyway, I hope your UC clears up with the medications and that you will find ways to make the chemo more tolerable.

    Keep on fighting -- there IS light at the end of the tunnel!!!

    Oh, and keep on blogging, too. Many of us find it quite therapeutic...

  2. Thanks for the info.....I cannot take Taxotere as will make my UC worse! I can't even imagine.
    I do take ativan, and benedryl and even tried sometimes things work, sometimes they don't. I finally got vicodin for the pain, as I resisted that for about 5 weeks, and now take it as needed. I wake up so early in the morning coughing and throwing up, it's a lovely way to wake up at 2 or 3 am. last night I tried to sleep sitting up a bit...interesting.
    Anyway....tomorrow is toxic tuesday, oh boy!
    I hope you do well with this round and thank you for your thoughts.

  3. Hi Judy,
    Too bad you can't take Taxotere and that the Ativan doesn't help you. Ugh, the UC really adds another nasty layer of complications to the 'joy' of chemo...
    Might yogurt help with the UC and the chemical onslaught from all those drugs (which I imagine can't help the UC, either)? Also, my nutritionist recommended I take 50 mg of vitamin B6 a day to help prevent nerve damage/pain.
    By the way, I found that with all the chemo stuff I needed to sleep with my head elevated more than I normally would. So I always slept with a second pillow, which really helped with coughing, acid reflux and such. I imagine a recliner would also work.

    Just a few more thoughts...

  4. I am so sorry to hear you are feeling so awful. I hope the next seven weeks are more tolerable for you. I'd like to share a heart-felt video called “Stand Up To Cancer”—> . This video highlights the importance of managing your cancer treatment and avoiding infection. Please watch and share with all your loved ones.

    Best of wishes,