I'd like to give you some encouragement for your upcoming Chemo appointment on Tuesday.
I have undergone 4 sessions of Cisplatin/Taxol/Avastin with 2 more to go. I was diagnosed with stage 4B in March, and had a stent put in straight away. My 3rd cycle CT scan results showed "significant improvement to the disease load". This is phenomenal progress for me in such a short time, following a big diagnosis. Originally surgery and radiotherapy were not even an option, but now my Professor is talking about radiotherapy once chemo is complete, as a result of the fantastic progress after 3 cycles of Cisplatin/Taxol/Avastin. I feel very positive about this, and that the difficult journey I started (that has gotten easier) was without doubt every bit worth it.
In comparison to Kitty's treatment, my Avastin now takes 30 minutes (started at 90 min), Taxol takes 3 hours, and Cisplatin takes 2 hours. With all the flushes in between, I'm there for 12 hours. I have visitors during this time, we play games, I eat my meals, I walk to the loo, I'm fully awake and alert.
Admittedly the first session was not good - I had high blood pressure and severe stomach cramp reactions to the Taxol drug during administration. However, all 3 drugs were administered at 100% level, which was too high for me, and was lowered from session 2, and I've not had any reactions since. A good discussion point for you and your Doctor.
Avastin is a hormone therapy drug that has been recently licensed, and has positive feedback. Avastin has been quite easy on me, and will be my Maintenance drug for the next year.
Taxol and Cisplatin: I did lose my hair, and the fatigue is getting better. My knee joints aren't as strong. I've not had any nausea or other general side effects. They do give good post chemo medicines to take which certainly help.
Overall, I'm doing quite well on my chemo. almost every day I go out and enjoy doing something around London, even during my low immunity dats (and I'm neutropenic).
Each patient and response is different. I hope you find positivity and encouragement in my story. Don't let the first chemo put you off - but do have a good discussion on Monday with your Doctor about the level he'll administer you, so that you are comfortable moving forward with more chemo sessions.
Always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and loved more than you know!
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Love, hugs and strength to you.