Taxol 4, Part 1

When I start with a “Part 1”, you know there is going to be an issue. Well, it’s another delay. The worst part about not getting treated this time is: (a) I felt 100% fine going into treatment (b) We already planned to skip next week’s treatment because we are going to be away in Woodstock (c) Every delay pushes the finish line farther and farther away. Ugh.

Day 0 (Monday): The day before my 4th treatment, I got into bed around noon to take a nap. All of a sudden, my feet started to itch uncontrollably. I have never experienced such an uncomfortable feeling. It would not go away. I stuck my feet in a freezing cold bath and was scratching them with a hairbrush. It was unbearable.

Finally, I took to Google and learned that itchy feet is related to neuropathy. I called my doctor and she instructed me to take an antihistamine and said that we would discuss other options the next day during our appointment.

Day 1, Treatment Day (Tuesday): I walked into NYU feeling totally confident. I went for my bloodwork and waited for my oncologist. During our appointment we talked about the itching. She tested different spots on my hands and feet for numbness and tingling. Thankfully, I haven’t been experiencing any numbness but the bouts of itchiness have been very uncomfortable. She told me to continue taking the antihistamine and prescribed a topical steroid cream to try.

Then, she looked over my bloodwork and said, “your neutrophil count is low.” I asked what that meant and she said, “You wont be getting treated today.” I sunk in my chair. She explained that neutrophils are an indicator for my body’s immunity and that even though I feel great, my immunity is low. If I did get chemo, I would probably develop an infection and end up in the hospital – not good.

I felt extremely disappointed and frustrated, and, of course, started to cry.

Every treatment delay pushes the finish line farther and farther away. I am trying to power through this but it is not always easy. I understand that delays in treatment are normal but they are still annoying.

On the bright side: I was able to pick up Aidan from camp and spent the afternoon with Aidan and Cooper playing in the sprinklers. We are leaving later in the week to spend some time in Woodstock and now I will probably feel great for the trip!

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