chemo 4 update

woman and two cats on bed

This is a photo of me doing what I do best since chemo 4: chillaxing on my bed with the cats. (One always wraps himself around my head, and the other plants himself on my lap.)

I’m counting down the last days before chemo 5 (out of six), and reflecting on how I’m doing with the new chemo drug, DOCEtaxel.

Last week was pretty horrific, having to deal with fever for several days. By last weekend I was just trying to get back on my feet again after feeling so crummy for so long. (Add “fever” to the list of physical complaints that I hate, along with “nausea” and “headaches”.)

Week three after each chemo is usually the golden week when I feel normal again. I’m a little less so this time, maybe because of the aftereffects of the fever.

I haven’t been troubled by some of the nastier side effects of DOCEtaxel (like finger and toe numbness, and fatigue), which I’m really grateful for.

I’ve had trouble with nasal congestion since my fever, so I’ve started taking daily antihistamines.

I got in the habit of sleeping all day when I had my fever, and I’m finding it hard trying to break that habit. I don’t think I’m that fatigued, but it’s so easy to lie down a million times a day just for a rest…  and then it’s hard to get up again.

I try to get in a minimum of exercise every morning. Usually that means 20 minutes of gentle qigong exercises and a high-intensity seven-minute workout. And maybe some walking, if I get some errands (typically shopping) done that day.

This week I’ve been working on an application for financial assistance from the Kelly Shires Foundation, which provides aid for people being treated for breast cancer. I like to think I’m a seasoned pro at putting together grant applications, but this one has been a challenge, mostly because I’ve had to hunt down back-up for various claims (income, EI benefits, utility invoices, etc.). I shudder to think what the application process would be like if I were a new Canadian, or elderly, or very sick.

Looking forward to seeing my mom again when she comes down next week for chemo 5. Less than two months until I’m back to normal again…