PROJECT: 05-DJC:174.9

This is Deirdre's Breast Cancer Diary. I try to update this blog at least every evening. This is an easy way for me to keep a journal of the experience, and at the same time, I can keep my friends and family up-to-date on what is going on. I find it is not so bad to have cancer, but it is awfully depressing to talk about it. I hope you laugh as you read along. You can find the beginning in February ...in the archives. Thanks again for reading :o)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Meeting With Kathleen

Mark and I met with Kathleen today to learn about Taxol. It sounds like there are three things I need to worry about:
  1. Muscle and Bone pain
  2. Tingling and numbness in limbs and sometimes mouth
  3. Allergic reaction
For the muscle and bone pain I will take Vicodin. If that doesn't work I will use Dexamethasone.
There is nothing much I can do about the tingling and numbness except keep an eye one it. I have already experienced some of this, and if I experience the numbness and tingling to a greater degree then I am told to report it immediately. The doctor may find it better to reduce the dose of Taxol. This tingling and numbness (I am going to call it neuropathy - because that is what it is... and it is easier to type) sometimes can be permanent. WE DON'T WANT THAT. Therefore, we will promise to communicate to Kathleen everything about the neuropathy. We swear.
As for the possible allergic reaction: I have already developed a skin irritation - a rash - since the chemotherapy infusions started. I will get some pre-meds in my IV drip to combat any allergic reactions - including this rash.
I learned from Kathleen that any allergic reation won't be from the Taxol, itself, but from the medium that it is administered in: camphor. Taxol is not soluble...so must be mixed in camphor in order to get it into my body...and it turns out that some people are allergic to the camphor. I tell you, that Kathleen is a wealth of information.
We asked Kathleen about Herceptin. (a month or so ago my buddy Bob sent me an article that told about how Herceptin has been shown to work hard on preventing cancer cell growth). You have to be HER2-neu positive for the Herceptin to work. We checked my records and my tumor tissue had not been HER2-neu receptor tested. So that is upcoming.
Also, we still need to get into imaging to get my new mass (new lump) in my left armpit accessed.

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