Pinky Pie

Patience, Taxol & Me

Posted on: November 21, 2009

I knew that it took longer to administer the new drug in my chemotherapy regimen, Taxol, but I had no idea how long.

Once hooked up for pre-medications for the dreaded Adriamycin and Cytoxan, and waiting for 30 minutes, it was ten minutes to infuse Adriamycin and another half hour or so for Cytoxan to drip in. Then I’d get a couple shots to build my immune system or white cells, and the last couple times, a shot to build my red cells. I was then on my way.

When I was told it would take three hours it drip in the Taxol and that time didn’t include the pre-meds that take another thirty minutes, my impatient meter shot to the top. And the three-plus hours followed blood work, waiting for the results and then seeing the oncologist, Paula Gill.

I turned to Dick and said, “I better get rid of my impatience now.”

“You better get rid of your impatience immediately,” he responded.

We laughed.

Ah, impatience, it’s best rushed away as in “Hurry up and get over your impatience.” Or, “What’s taking you so long getting rid of your impatience?”

Patience is not my strong suit. To tell you the truth, I never knew I was impatient until a friend pointed it out some years back. I thought I was more of the laid back kind of gal. Hah!

Making jokes does not make a laid back person.

It may take a little less time next time for Taxol as the first one they give slowly to make sure I don’t have allergic reaction – I didn’t. And I’m glad. If I did they would stop it immediately, flush me and then give it even more slowly.

The premeds included a smaller dosage of Benadryl, which also went OK. I had been concerned that I might be allergic to it after getting a rash from something or other around my abdomen shortly after my surgery. Maybe it wasn’t Benadryl after all.

I was actually pretty nervous about getting Taxol as I had built it up in my mind as so much better than the first four treatments with Adriamycin and Cytoxan. I worried that it wouldn’t be better or that I would have that allergic reaction that would stop the treatment.

Anyway, day one after chemotherapy seems to be going well.  No aches, tingling or pain, although those symptoms may accumulative with each dose.

I even got a bonus shot yesterday beyond the injections to build red and white cells. They had gotten in eight doses of H1N1 and I was lucky enough to get one. The shots don’t seem to be causing me problem and each can cause aches.

I’m told that it’s not likely I will be hit by trucks with this treatment, maybe a bicyclist not sure of his or her way, or a Yugo car, voted the worst car of the decade by the CarTalk guys. It would likely stall before it hit me, anyway.

Speaking of the Yugo, my only memory of it is was when my friend Julie, who is the best damn storyteller, told me every single Mackinac Bridge story she could think of before I went over it for the first time.  The goal was to scare me to death to cross this third longest suspension bridge in the world and longest in the western Hemisphere. At its highest point it is 200 feet above water. Oh, she had a good time, telling me about accidents during construction. She also told me the wind blew a Yugo off the bridge and when it was recovered from the water it was flat as a pancake.

I didn’t sleep that night worrying. When we finally went over the bridge the next day, I was terrified but it turned out – as most things do – to be not so bad. I later drove that bridge myself a couple times and handled it beautifully.

Meanwhile, back to the Taxol. At this moment, I’m ready to take on the world.

Unfortunately, a new moment arrives every minute.

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