So yesterday I had my fourth cycle of chemotherapy and the first of the “D” – Docetaxel.  Hubbie came with me just in case I had a reaction to it, which some people get.

Apparently you get it pretty much straight away and the nurses can tell by the fact that you get a red flush to your next and face, then you get other symptoms, like shortness of breath, heart pulsating etc.  Luckily I didn’t get anything.

The rest was pretty much routine, and my Oncologist Dr Diakos came and saw me at my chair as I running a bit late for our appointment.

She just checked in on me to see how I had been travelling since the last cycle and also updated me on what I may or may not get with this lot.  She advised that my eyes may get a lot more watery.

With the Docetaxel, we have to take our steroid medication a bit differently than with the FEC.  I have to take 16mg of Dexmethsone (4 x 4mg tablets) the day before the cycle, day of and the day after.  So there is a lot more fluid retention possible.

I did mention that I got a couple of days with bad pins and needles. She advised that things will get a bit tighter, but to keep an eye on it and check in if it gets worse.  I had twice last week but nothing since.

I went for a walk this morning for about an hour and it was good to get out for a bit.  I didn’t sleep the best last night as I seemed to have sweated more than I normally do. Dr Diakos also mentioned that I may find it hard to get to sleep and if this is the case, I can get some sleeping tablets to help.  I will see how I go. So far I haven’t had any problems; just waking up early.

The other symptom she mentioned is that some people get bone aches and if I get these, to take some pain relief and if it gets to bad, to get some prescription medication – Endo. Fingers crossed I don’t get this.

 Ultrasound/Surgery Update 

We saw my surgeon Dr Rippy after the ultrasound on the 5th of Feb and she was really pleased with result of the scan.
As I am now pass the halfway mark, she has tentatively booked in my surgery for my lumpectomy, for the 26th of April.  I need to have a full good 3 to 4 weeks off after my last chemotherapy to ensure I am strong enough to go under general anesthetic. They will also do another blood count etc to make sure.

The operation should be around 1 to 1.5 hours long and Dr Rippy likes us to stay in overnight to ensure everything is ok.  I will also been seen by a breastcare nurse who will fit me with some new bras.

I will also need to see a physiotherapist as I will need to do some exercises on the arm afterwards.  There will be cut on the breast itself and due to where the lump is, a small cut under the arm where Dr Rippy will do the sentinel node removal.

I have put this all down on my calendar on the back of my sewing room and if all things go to plan, I should be finished treatment around end of July/early August.

I was contacted by my insurer AIA and their rehabilitation coordinator and I am entitled to get assistance through them.  This is a benefit through work along with the salary continuance insurance.  All for free!

Danielle was lovely and taking through my case, she is going to recommend 6 video teleconferences with a physiotherapist or physiologist (due to the fatigue I am experiencing and this way I don’t have to travel), 2 video teleconferences with a nutrition and then possible a psychologist towards the end to help with any issues like getting back to work, fear of the cancer coming back etc.

She also advised that it will be at least 6 weeks after treatment that they would look at getting me back to work. This will all depend on how the radiation has effected me as this is known to knock people around quite badly.

So things are moving on.  I am quietly sewing in the background along with some knitting.  Even picked up a book yesterday to read.  I found in the beginning it was hard to concentrate on things like this but this seems to have passed.

I also went to Australian Maritime Museum with my son on Sunday to visit some exhibitions there and had a lovely day out with him.

Well that is a big catch up.  I will post my dress and jacket I am making for an event once I have completed it.  Probably not until the event is over seeing it is this Saturday.

All the best.
Stephanie xx

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