That's Why They Get The Big Bucks

I love my oncologist Dr. Jiang.  Dr. Kent (my surgeon) is still number one on my list but Dr. Jiang is a clear second in terms of my overall doctor favs.  Here's the skinny on my situation. 

As you may know, I had a severe reaction to my Taxotere infusion on Thursday which caused them to halt my treatment completely and have to look for a new chemo regimen.  It was very devastating to me simply because I had a "plan" and now it was shot to hell.  Going through a cancer battle is a constant series of ups and downs.  Having a plan gives you a sense of control, which eases the anxiety and allows you to function somewhat normally.  Whenever something goes awry, it forces you back to that place of not knowing again, and for me, I don't like it there.  After Thursday's little fiasco it was back to the drawing board and a loss of what little control I felt I had. 

Just to back track a little.  The reaction I had on Thursday was very unusual.  My blood pressure shot up, my face turned bright red, and I had the feeling that I couldn't breathe.  Everyone there jumped into action and got control of the situation and I was feeling better within about half an hour.  The PA, Mark, came in and told me they couldn't continue with the treatment that day, and I would no longer be able to take the Taxotere drug.  This was extremely upsetting because I immediately thought my only choice was to go to a combination of drugs called Adriamycin Cytoxin.  Adriamycin was the chemo drug I was hoping to avoid, simply because of the potential for long term side effects and the harsher, more frequent regimen.  Cytoxin I was already getting, so that was of no concern to me.  Obviously I was going to do whatever I needed to do to kill this cancer, but it was a blow nonetheless. 

Well, I had my appointment with Dr. Jiang yesterday and it was such a relief!  He is going to put me on a combination of drugs called Taxol and Cytoxin.  Taxol is a "cousin" of the Taxotere, with one distinct difference.  Apparently, Taxotere has some sort of binding agent in it which causes the type of severe reaction I had.  Taxol does not have this binding agent in it, so there's no reason to believe I'll have another reaction.  Yay!  Taxol is typically not used for early stage breast cancer, but is approved in late stage metastatic breast cancers (we think because of cost), but since I can't tolerate the other, my insurance company should approve it.  Let's hope so or they will be getting a few not so pleasant phone calls from one bitchy bald chick. 

I go in Tuesday for treatment number two and I do get credit for the infusion I already had.  This will put me back on track to being halfway done.  Phew!  The side effects are pretty much the same between the two drugs, so there should be no surprises.  I'll actually be better off since I won't be needing to take the pre-treatment steroids (which made me antsy).  So, I can breathe a sigh of relief.  Thanks so much for the support and kind words everyone.  Whether you all know it or not, every little bit of support motivates me to stay positive and keep fighting.  Thank you!

Gooooooooo Honey Badgers! 

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