Chemo #5: First Taxol

Today I had my first of 12 weekly doses of Taxol.  Since Taxol is usually easier to tolerate than AC, I only need to see my doctor every three weeks.  I've been advised to take vitamin B-complex and to slather my entire body in coconut oil to counteract the drying effects.  At least I'll smell good!  If food starts to taste like metal, the nurse practitioner told me to squeeze lemon on everything.

A common side effect of Taxol is neuropathy, or damage to the peripheral nerves, causing numbness and pain.  Cryotherapy has been proven to prevent chemo-induced neuropathy, so I've been instructed to freeze my hands and feet for 90 minutes during the administration of Taxol.  I purchased an official Elasto-Gel Therapy Mitt (the same one used in the scientific study).  And yes, this is exactly what I look like when I go to chemo -- smokin' hot in my white sports bra with perfect make-up and long flowing hair.  The advertisers nailed it.

On the IV menu today: steroids, anti-nausea medication, Benadryl, and finally Taxol.  My friend was nice enough to join me.  I told her that while I'm passed out from the Benadryl, she was responsible for freezing my hands and feet and monitoring me for signs of hypothermia and tissue death.  Given that I also have Raynaud's disease, I'm more susceptible to that sort of thing.  Now my friend seems nervous.  Hey, who wants to come to chemo with me next week?!

For the first time, I got to see someone ring the bell!  The bell-ringing ritual signifies the end of chemotherapy.  I can see how it's insensitive to metastatic patients, but I know Julia will want to see the nurses throw pink confetti at me.  Someone also ordered pizza for everyone in the infusion room.  When it's my turn, maybe I can pass around a bag of edible gummy candy.