Taxol, accupuncture & Me.
Posted November 25, 2009on:
I’m calling you out, Taxol. I had heard there was the possibility of joint pain with Taxol, but you’re going for what’s easy: my knees.
A few years back, I paid a visit to an orthopedic surgeon asking about the possibility of knee replacement. He noted I was headed that way because of arthritis, thanks to dislocations of my knees multiple times as a kid.
I would not want to have to prove it, but dislocating a kneecap may just as painful as childbirth. Not that it is possible, but I would not want to dislocate my knee while in labor. You’ll have to just trust me it really hurts, a reason I twinge when I see a football player with a knee injury.
The first time my kneecap went out was in the fifth grade when we were playing volleyball in gym class. Wonderful best family friend Uncle Bart, a surgeon, met us at the hospital to fix my knee. He put my leg in a cast for six weeks and pretty much wrote orders to excuse me from gym class for that year.
The following year, I was playing tennis against the brick wall of our house when I slipped on the wet grass and dislocated the other knee. Aunt Bertie, the other half of our Uncle Bart, rode with me in the ambulance as my parents were out of the country for a 20th anniversary trip to Europe. As the story goes, I threw up my after-school sandwich on Aunt Bertie, who just whimsically suggested I chew my food more thoroughly.
It was Uncle Bart to the rescue again. In fact, he had also attended to my brother the day before after he sustained a mild concussion in gym class at school. Our parents came home a day early from their trip (you could do that in the 60s without it costing a fortune) because they missed us. With two surprises greeting them, they decided not to travel without us again.
I’ll never forget my brother, Andy’s, comment after my second knee injury: “It’s a good thing you didn’t dislocate the same knee or they’d have to cut off your leg.”
Big brothers can be so comforting.
Then I dislocated both kneecaps at the same time when slipped in the shoe room in the department store were I was working. One went back in immediately. Uncle Bart came to the store to get my other knee back in.
There have been other smaller incidences, although the time in Kmart near Valley View Mall was most unnerving even though my knee came back in on it’s own within minutes. When I went down, a store employee pushed my cart with baby Michael away. I don’t know if he missed the baby in the cart and was just being organized or what. I yelled and he brought the cart back.
So my knees set me up for future knee replacements – my mom had four despite owning just two knees.
Ever since this whole cancer thing started, I hadn’t even noticed pain in my knees, something I was bragging about. It was whimsical to note the relative importance or lack of importance of my knees in relation to the cancer.
Then I had my first helping of Taxol on Friday and by Monday my knees no longer were a distant memory. I had severe pain, especially when I got into bed. You can say that the pain and aches that come to some people with Taxol had arrived. And the drug went to the path of least resistance – my knees.
I was given a prescription for the pain Tuesday but I also went to acupuncture (Yes, I am a new age gal; I bet you didn’t see that coming). My knees definitely felt better afterwards and I only took one of the pain relieving pills. Today – Wednesday – no pain at all.
So I’m guess the improvement is a combination of the acupuncture, the effects of the Taxol waning and my usual charm and good looks.
Or, is it that the first of my kids, Michael, arrived last night? Or knowing that Maggie and her husband Mike are on their way? Should be here in a couple hours …
At any rate, I’m feeling great once again.
Thanks to all her have worried about me for not writing as much in the last week or two.