So you remember how I was all about the popsicles for the first lovely cocktail of chemo-poison I experienced? The Red Devil, however, is officially over. No more popsicles for Kirsten (cue sad violin)
The Red Devil is done. I met and conquered him (yes, chemotherapy drugs are male) 4 times and lived to tell the tale.
Now I’ve done the first of my new chemotherapy drug. His name is Taxol. Most chemo patients like him ALOT more than the Red Devil.
I would not be one of them.
Okay, okay, so I’m not queasy and ill all the time. But it’s not like Mr. Taxol is BETTER than the Red Devil. He’s just different.
So for Taxol, the lovely menu of side effects we have for your pleasure today are loss of nerve sensation in hands and feet (nueropathy), joint-bone pain, nail-lifting/blackening and rashes.
To potentially stave off the nueropathy (which is like your hands or feet being numb or tingling all the time like they’re about to fall asleep) one of the solutions winging around the web where chemo-geeks hang out is to ice your fingers during infusion.
Yeah. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? So I read all the advice, had my mom go out and buy me bags of frozen peas because ice melting on your chemo chair apparently is gauche. I also sacrificed two pairs of socks to wear over my hands so there’s no skin damage when I’m icing.
And then I found out that Taxol infusion is not 1.5 hour wham, bam, thank-you ma’am kind of experience. Apparently Taxol gets his diva on and takes 4 hours (in the dose dense form I am doing).
Can you imagine? Picture a lovely, sunny room on the 10th floor of the Mayo Building. There are 4 chairs each up against two walls. There sits a chemo patient snoring away happily. Another one to the left is contentedly reading a magazine whilst munching away on volunteer-brought Lorna Doone Shortbreads.
But there’s poor, shivery Kirsten with her hands stuck in ziploc bags of frozen peas, making eyes at the shortbread every time a volunteer comes by with the snack tray, wishing desperately she could turn the page on her Kindle.
But every time she takes her sock-puppet hands out of the bags, melting peas stick to them and tumble all over the floor.
No, frozen peas are not dignified. And I’m not sure they helped with Neuropathy as I had a few days last week where my hands felt asleep almost all day. Oh well. We’ll see how it goes for Taxol #2.