Chemo Roundup: February

Continuing from Chemo, Round 1:

Feb 12 Chemo 2.1

(No, I didn’t.)

Started the day with a blistering headache, took 2 ibuprofen at home. It was finally fading when the chemo started, but now the headache from aloxi has started.

While pushing the adriamycin, the nurse said “Tell me if anything feels painful or burning.” It didn’t, but I could sorta feel (or imagined I did)… something. Like being aware of my blood rushing around my veins and arteries.

8:45pm – not quite nausea, over-full from eating a bacon and avocado sandwich Ross made for dinner. Dizzy, terrible headache.


Feb 13 – Chemo 2.2

Slept ok, woke up around 4am, took Zofran, read a while, then slept til 8:45 weight up to 149 from 143 a few days ago, but that may be water retention and/or constipation ate a little yogurt with flax seeds, then boiled potatoes with a few anchovies for lunch mostly just tired/groggy 7pm – stomach acid ramping up again 8pm – constipated. ate dinner, not a bit of intestinal cramps

Feb 14 – Chemo 2.3

Acid stomach, slight (so far) headache, which could be seasonal allergies – lots of pollen around today, and, sadly, cancer doesn’t give me a pass on any of my normal physical ailments.   1:15pm – spine feels bruised, stomach acid and/or nauseous

couldn’t stand my legs anymore, shaved them. carefully [Because chemo knocks down your immune system, you have to be extremely careful of any possible sources of infection, including even minor injuries, like shaving cuts.]

Feb 15 2.4

Woke up this morning from a dream that I was crying for my hair, and crying for Jon Stewart. Smells can be overwhelming, and some that were previously pleasant now are not. Whole Foods was a weird sensory experience. Then rice cooking in the cooker brought me close to vomiting (took a pill, in fear that real nausea would set in). After I spent all day being annoyed by long strands of hair going everywhere, Brendan used the clippers (#7, then #3 for cleanup) to buzz my hair off very short. I’ve had hairstyles almost this short in the past, so it’s not so much of a shock at the moment, but visibly thinning – scalp is very visible when it’s wet. And my head gets cold. Leg hair is growing back much more slowly than usual.

Feb 16 2.5

am Feeling sickish and a bit dazed. eating was somewhat difficult today 11pm – feeling slightly nauseous – that got worse before I finally went to sleep, ended up taking a pill

Feb 17 2.6

could not eat or even have tea or coffee til late in the morning, eventually had a bit of yogurt, then lunch (chicken), a couple more light meals during the day. This evening it was hard to figure out what I could cook and eat that didn’t make me queasy even to think about

Feb 18 2.7

Woke up at 6:30, feeling almost normal. Fingers crossed.
By 11, have had only a cup of coffee with milk and a bit of vanilla yogurt. Stomach very acid. Trying to find something more substantial I can face eating. Biscuits?

Swallowing is a bit hard. Have to hold things in my mouth and think about it. Going to SF to see Dr J today, to get a sample of the gunk in my sinuses since the infection certainly is not going away. pm – That was exhausting.

Feb 19 2.8

Once again at the stage of probably would feel pretty normal, except for this damned sinus infection. Awaiting culture results. Thankful for Dr J.

Feb 20 2.9

Dr J’s assistant called with the news that there’s staph in my sinus. Waiting for the next round of antibiotics to be ready at Walgreens.

Feb 23 2.12


Started cefuroximine Saturday. Immediately realized that taking it with a small food or even large smoothie is not sufficient to stave off the nausea that it induces – has to be a full meal. Which will be tricky after this week’s chemo, though I guess I can keep using the anti-nausea drugs.

Have lots of work to do, deadlines that must get done. This will be hard this particular week.

Feb 24 2.13

Annoying difficulties in regulating body temperature. Don’t know if that’s chemo or near-baldness.

Feb 25 2.14


Drove myself to Dr L for my pre-infusion blood test and consult. On we go.

Appetite has been good the last few days, so my weight there (fully clothed) is 148.

Asked about a few things:

  • Yes, bruising and wounds on my forearms are again due to steroids. He will halve the dose next time since I seem to be doing fine controlling the nausea, may not need as much.
  • Taxol infusions will each take longer than AC, he says. And will be weekly. On the upside, I won’t have to return for Neulasta shots.
  • Common side effect of Taxol is itching and hives. Thrilling. [Never got this, except a rash around my forefingers and thumbs for a week or so – seemed more like a contact dermatitis, but I couldn’t think of anything I had gripped in both hands that way.]

Feb 26 – Chemo 3.1

Aloxi and 2 steroids in, feeling a bit dizzy and sick.

9pm – still have the aloxi headache

Feb 26 – Chemo 3.2

my breast cancer story (thus far)

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