Its a little redundent for me to fill you in every single week with the details of my Taxol treatments because they are supposed to be cut dry and simple. However, if you know me… Nothing is simple or easy in my life, thus my Taxol Nightmare occured.
Last week I had chemo treament number 11 woot woot! I have currently completed 4 rounds of Adriamycin and 7 rounds of Taxol… Only 5 more Taxol treatments to go (But who is really counting😉)
My dad and little sister Jill joined me on this session and I thought it would be perfect because aside from treatment I also had an appointment with my oncologist which I have every 3 weeks and up until this point my dad hasnt had a chance to discuss his concerns or questions. It makes me a bit anxious sitting in a room with my dad because although he is supportive and would do anything for me, the whole “cancer” diagnosis still hasnt really sunk in for him. He still thinks my test results were switched with someone else and I can be cured by switching my diet to strictly drinking carrot juice! (Gosh stay off Google dad!) Aside from his greatest fear of a daughter with this sort of diagnosis, as a family were working together to keep him strong!
So anyways, we arrived around 9:15 for my 9:30 appointment. I had to get all my vitals assessed like I always do weekly to find my weight is climbing back up to my normal, which is pretty good I guess… Aside from me feeling chunky monkey again and not having the real energy to hit the gym I know deep down tht its better than being under weight right now.
I escorted my dad and sister back to the check-up room, firstly placing my coat and chemo bag on my green comfy chair in treatment room 2 of course! (I always call my seat, whos stopping me?!) I swear i’m the only patient who ever reserves a seat! Hahaha But, the nurses dont seem to mind so…✋🏻😎
For some reason Dr. Raymond my oncologist seemed to be running a bit behind, but her fellow came in to introduce herself and provide me with a basic exam. Then it happened… My dad spoke, oh yes… WORD VOMIT for all you Mean Girl fans. Question after question… Then, oh yes he said it “well if that gynocologist would have examined her we might not be here right?”
Thankfully the fellow was very well prepared, professional, and knowledgeable so as she was being grilled by Papa Franz, her responses like “you cant change the past so lets focus on the now and today” really set us all to ease.
Dr. Raymond came into the room and greeted me with her usual hug and bright, positive personality. She said my tumor is shrinking (which is fabulous news), then the conversation transitioned into a discussion involving the next step…
Surgery… Going into this I knew the day would come. Ive already met my surgical oncologist Dr. Cowher who cough cough is Bill Cowhers nephew… Go Steelers😎 but I havent really had THE discussion of what is next.
Just out of the conversation with Dr. Raymond, I have a lot of important decisions to come. Prior to the convo, I was set on the double mastectomies then receiving a perky pair of plump C cups by summer. Turns out, this thing called cancer is a little more complicated…
So, I am gene positive, meaning they have identified a genetic mutation to where my cancer has come from. In this case if I was older and around age 40 per say, the standard treatment would be a double mastectomy because there is a risk of the cancer coming back. Because I am only 26 years old and still looking forward to child bearing, there are some important things to consider.
My cancer is also estrogen positive. What this means is the cancer cells feed off of estrogen which is the natural reproductive chemical created in a women. With this being the case, standard surgical treatment would therefore be a double oophrectomy aka removal of my ovaries. The issue being is that I am 26 years old. This would put me into menospause at 26 years old. Some things that go with menopause would not be good or enjoyable for a 26 years old… Like decreased libido, or the case of a dry vagina! Um, no thank you!
Gosh, so cancer has taken away my physical beauty, it has taken my energy, it has taken my job (temporarily), it has caused stress on my family, it will most likely take away my titty tatas… And now my wet vajay! How rude! On that note, either I have to really think about my decisions, or get sponsored by KY jelly😆
Anyways, so after hearing (let me mind you for the first time), that my ovaries may end up in a petri dish… Off to the treatment room for chemo #11. As soon as we walked into the pretty busy treatment room with patients sitting in every chair, I looked at my dad who appeared extremely anxious. He turned to me and my sister as I told him to move a chair closer to me and said “i have to get out of here, I cant see this”. Although it sort of set me back a little because of course I wanted him to hang out with me for the 3-4 hours that I have to be pumped with poison… Everything happens for a reason…
Jill ended up walking him out to the waiting room, then returned to my side as the nurse began to access my port. Reiki Bob was there to calm me down like he does every Tuesday as well as share his amazingly funny stories that keep the air light and a smile on my face.
Johns friend Ray also stopped by to say hello on one of his walks through the hospital. He works for the IT department and with the cancer center going live with EPIC their new computer system, the IT department is working overtime to help those less tech savy.
Then in walks a little service dog! He was the cutest little guy, his name was Peanut. The owner walked him over and put him on my lap. He was soon stinking cute. I literally had to pet him with two fingers! Compared to my monster of a pup Izzy, this thing was like a dog toy!
My nurse started hanging my medicine and I instantly feel the effects of benedryl and attivan. My eyes get very heavy and then only a couple more minutes until im in dreamland. Jill decided to read me some stories from her new book she picked up the day before to keep her company during my hours of treatment.
As she began reading, I may have stayed awake for maybe three minutes before my eyes became heavy and off to dreamland I went. I literally was in such a deep sleep that I hardly woke up when my pole was beeping and the nurse had to change out my bags. All of a sudden my chest got really tight. I immediately woke up and turned toward Jill as I mouthed the words “I cant breath” because I literally couldnt get the words out. Jill then goes legit Gretchen Weiners and yelled across the treatment room “she cant breath”!
In a half a second all the nurses and doctors were at my chair side. They ripped the curtains closed around me, immediately stopped my chemo medicines from running, threw oxygen onto my face, and tilted me backwards in the recliner. Whenever these sort of reactions happen to me, they always shoot benedryl into my port then I get really jittery. My whole body got really cold and I was having these uncontrollable jerky movements which they call rigors. Turns out typically they can reverse rigors with the use of an opiate… Oh but guess what, im allergic!
I did a lot of deep breathing and after about 20 minutes the rigors began to go away, my sky rocketed blood pressure stabilized and I felt half normal again. Thankfully this reaction didnt get me a one way ticket to the emergency room, however I was probably close!
After all was said and done, Jill looked at me and told me right before my reaction she was reading her book and began to feel really anxious. She put her book away and started staring at me breathing as I slept… Not even 5 minutes later I awoke in a panic. Some say us Franz girls are psychic… I say telepathic😝
I had to stay a while until all my vitals were stable. Dr. Raymond came in and discussed the plan of switching my next 5 chemos to a medicine called Abraxane. Supposibly, this chemo is tolerated very well… Fingers crossed for no more reactions! Until next time…
Chemo 12 was yesterday, original plan would mean only 4 more chemo’s to go! Although Abraxane has a very LOW risk of allergic reactions… I did indeed have another reaction including chest heaviness, throat tightness, and rash all over my body. Needless to say after the nurses swarming, doctors running, and my mom crying… Dr. Raymond has decided enough is enough and perhaps this is a sign from my body that we should be done with the chemo. I have an appointment with my oncologist next Tuesday to discuss the next step. So turns out this could very well be my LAST CHEMO!!!! This is perfect, surgery before summer… then bikini shopping for my new titties 🙂