Finished chemo three-and-a-half weeks ago. The cumulative effect of the cytotoxic concoction made the side effects get worse – and – worse. I practically spent a week in bed looking at my hips protruding from my fifty-two kilo frame. My gut didn’t work brilliantly, so there was quite a bit of pain in there. But, when it all got too much I watched episode one of the The West Wing (damn fine – I miss Josh Lyman and CJ).
Three weeks on and my hair’s growing back. I no longer experience nausea or food aversion. The metallic twang appears to be fading from my mouth. The residual effect of Taxotere is muscle fatigue, anemia and tiredness. These beauties are just peachy for now. I’m happy the dreaded chemo times are over and the next phase is in full swing. Herceptin (the drug I’ve been taking alongside chemo) continues every three weeks for another eight months. Herceptin is delivered via my portacath, so I’m in the oncology unit for half-a-day.
In two weeks I’ll get my ovaries turned off with Tamoxifen and Zoladex. Tamoxifen is a daily pill – sort of the opposite of the contraceptive pill. Zoladex is a monthly injection that sends me into a chemical menopause (also used to chemically castrate men).