TAXOL, DAY ONE
January 16, 2015 my body was introduced to Taxol. I was told it wouldn't be as bad as the previous Adriamycin and Cytoxan cocktail, but I also heard things like I could get neuropathy, my fingernails and toenails would turn black and/or fall off, and I could get bone pain. I read if I kept my fingernails and toenails in ice water during treatment, they wouldn't fall off. I asked the nurse and she said she never heard about the ice water trick, so there I was, at a high risk of losing my manicured nails....not sexy. I came home after five hours of treatment, with fear in tow. That night I was okay and the next day I went in for my routine Neulasta (white blood cell) shot. Neulasta is said to cause joint pain, and that night, the Taxol and Neulasta combination made me achy enough to take Advil. The next day I woke up with a fever and was in so much bone and joint pain that I could barely move - I felt like I was one hundred years old with arthritis. The discharge papers said to call my oncologist if my fever went above 100.1. In the evening, my fever was at 100.3 and spiking. My doctor wasn't answering the phone. I was afraid that my body was rejecting the poisonous Taxol and that the beast was taking over again. I wanted to be with people that would know how to take care of me if I burst into a ball of fire, because that's how I felt at 100.6. I felt so weak and afraid that I asked my boyfriend if he would take me to the Emergency Room. First, he had to call his ex-wife to explain the situation and ask if he could take his children to her thirty minutes early. I was about to ask a neighbor to take me, when we finally got in the car. My doctor called back and said to take more Advil and an anti-anxiety pill and go to sleep, that I probably had the flu, and to see him in the morning. I was happy that I didn't have to spend the night in the hospital. On top of feeling like I was going to melt to the ground like the wicked ol' witch in the Wizard of Oz, my boyfriend was irate with me. He was annoyed that he took his kids home early so that he could "unnecessarily" drive me to the hospital. He shamed me, saying I should have listened to him and waited for a call back from my doctor, then sped into the driveway like a racecar driver, scaring me. I went into the house with my tail between my legs, sobbing as I ever-so-slowly made my way up to my third floor bedroom. Distressed, I felt alone in my battle against this multi-faceted beast. I fearfully fell asleep, wondering how I could possibly navigate this road alone.