The good news is that my doctor is one of the few that prescribes a huge amount of steroids prior to, as well as during the chemo, to try to avoid the allergic reaction. These steroids had two major effects. First, and most importantly, I did not have any allergic reactions! Praise the Lord for that! Second, I have had a burst of energy unlike anything I have experienced in 2010. It's sort of a weird, jittery energy kind of like when I used to get when I'd have WAY too much caffeine studying for college finals, but I have accomplished more in the last two days than in the last month combined! I'm starting to come down from them now, but it was really nice while it lasted!
Some of the side effects from this drug are tingling and numbness in my hands and feet. The tingling is starting to take effect in my feet, which is now making it uncomfortable to walk. I'd rather just have the numbness (well, I think I would anyway...who knows!)! There is about a 5% chance that it may never go away, so please pray that I fall into the 95% of those for whom it does completely go away! It's uncomfortable.
Another major side effect, other than the extreme fatigue that just seems to go with chemo, is muscle and bone ache in my legs and hips. Since I also get extreme pain in those areas from my neupogyn shots, I'm a little nervous for that. That usually sets in by day 2 or 3, so either tomorrow or Monday I'll be finding out how bad it is.
All that being said, my doctor and nurses all said that MOST people find these drugs easier to take than the first set, so I'm praying that to be true.
Finally, since it's a different drug, I have to get my white count tested again later this week to see if I still only have to take 5 shots per chemo round, or if this new chemo drug lowers my blood count enough to require me to take even more than that. Please pray that I don't have to take more than 5 shots per round! They cause so much pain, and I really don't want to take anymore than 5.
I wanted to share one passage that I have been focusing on lately. It's Psalm 27, and here are a few of my favorite verses from it:
4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.
7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, "Seek his [b] face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek.
I love these verses. It keeps me focused when I'm in pain, or feeling discouraged because I get so tired and feel so crummy so often. It keeps me focused on Christ when I feel like I'm at the end of my rope from being so sick for what is starting to feel like so long. No matter what, I have the Holy Spirit living inside me - truly, He is my Helper. And deep in my heart, he keeps reminding me to seek God's face, to keep looking at the eternal perspective, knowing that Heaven is my home, and that this pain is only temporary.
And, the wonderful thing is that the more I focus on Christ, and make Him my refuge from all that feels awful, the more I am finding my theme verse to hold true:
Taste and see that the LORD is good;blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
God is good, all the time!