This past year was a toughie. I continued my Taxotere treatments up until October. There were some very dark days and nights where I seriously considered stopping treatment all together. I was so serious about quitting; I even spoke with my psychologist about it. I just wanted to tell someone that this really sucked and I didn’t know if I was strong enough to continue. I was quite exhausted all the time and I used to sit most of the day and play on the computer and blog. Nothing else inspired me ... not even food. After that meeting I decided to just focus on completing one cycle at a time and that`s what I did.
In April, I spent a few days in the hospital due to my central line catheter infection. This was located on my right side of my chest. After the catheter was removed, I had a PICC line inserted to infuse the Taxotere. This caused a skin irritation... turns out I was allergic to chlorhexidine which is used to clean area.
In about June I noticed swelling in my right arm. It turned out to be lymphedema. Likely the infection from the catheter caused it. My right side is also my mastectomy side.
In October, a bone scan showed no evidence of disease in my bones; however a CT scan showed tumours on my liver had grown and there were more lesions. The Taxotere was no longer working and I needed to change chemotherapy to Xeloda pills. This meant the PICC line came out, it meant fewer trips to the clinic and best of all more gentle side effects. Even with liver issues, deep down I was thrilled because I was so sick of the side effects from the Taxotere and the steroids. I was just so glad to be changing treatments.
After a couple of months, I felt like getting out and doing a few more things but my body was stiff and sore from just sitting around for a year. I decided to enlist the help of a chiropractor who stretched out some of those muscles. This along with the active release therapy and the massaging the edema out of my legs has helped me so much to get around.
I am feeling more optimistic and alive. My body is recovering nicely ... I can now stand longer and walk further. It’s been quit the year. I’m really hoping improvements continue into 2010.