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Amie's Breast Cancer Journey #23 September 24, 2015

After a good nights sleep, I felt ready to tackle round 5 of chemotherapy. The painful memories of round 4 were slowly leaving my mind and I was able to mentally recharge my priority of having to complete 4 more rounds. Today I am starting a new to me chemotherapy drug called Paclitaxel. My friends who have gone through this before me tell me I should find it easier then the A/C dense dose chemotherapy. The night before I am given Paclitaxel, I have to take five Dexamethasone (steroid pills). I take another five Dexamethasone with my breakfast. When I am seated in the chemotherapy suite I am given two pills of Benadryl. The infusion of Paclitaxel should take about 6 hours. The nurses inform me that the first 15 minutes of infusing Paclitaxel I will be monitored closely to make sure I don’t have a reaction to the drug. Having a reaction to Paclitaxel is a common side effect. My PICC line was removed a few weeks ago because I was experiencing lymphatic drainage out of the line. My Oncologist Nurse requested that I come to clinic mid round so they could check the line. When the nurse looked at my PICC line she spoke with my Oncologist and they decided to remove the line. At this point I was not up for being poked any more. I turned my head while the nurse pulled out the long thin blood filled line. My mother was very brave and watched the whole removal. Not having a PICC line means the nurses have to start an IV at every chemotherapy session. I have enjoyed not having the PICC line. It is much easier to shower, lift and exercise. After about five hours the Paclitaxel was in my body. I went home and felt pretty normal until Saturday. Saturday and Sunday I was in bed most of the day. I was very tired and had bone pain. I was able to take Advil for the bone pain and rest on my sponge. I drew two baths on each day and this helped ease the bone pain. I was grateful because I did not have the usual cloudy head and I was able to taste food. My eyelashes fell out and my eyebrows are very thin. I have a few sporadic hairs on my head. The nurse from Care Partners came everyday for eight days to my house to check on me and give me my daily injection of Neupogene. Overall I found this round bearable.

- Amie Banting

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