• 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 95 (Chemo Round 11: Running with Dogs and Learning about Drugs)


    Feeling blonde.  I call her ‘Layla’.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    Day 95 of 100 Days of Good Karma.

    This morning when I woke up and stepped outside I was greeted by a gorgeous 57 degree morning.  I took Tilley for a run with me.  I love running with my dog, but she’s got the bladder of a newborn.

    Beautiful day!

    Beautiful day!

    When she’s not peeing she’s sniffing things I’d rather she didn’t stick her nose it.

    Mmm... I love the smell of strange dog poop in the morning.

    Mmm… I love the smell of bunny poop in the morning.

    When she’s not sniffing she’s thinks I’m a sled that must be hauled.  I learned a long time ago that there’s a ‘correct’ way for Tilley to wear her harness and a ‘better’ way for Tilley to wear her harness.

    This is the 'correct' way with the loop in the back.

    This is the ‘correct’ way with the loop in the back.

    This is the comfortable way, with the loop in front of her chest.  More comfortable for me because she pulls less.

    This is the ‘better’ way, with the loop in front (it’s harder for her to pull).

    After my run my friend Tamela accompanied me to chemotherapy.  We learned all kinds of new things from my oncology nurse at this appointment.

    We learned what the next phase of treatment will be like.

    This next round of chemotherapy will be harder.  I’ve known that for a long time.  Everyone I’ve talked to has said that this round I’m in now, a drug called Taxol, is a walk in the park compared to what’s coming up.  Taxol has it’s side effects:  hair loss, fatigue, very mild nausea and neuropathy.

    But there haven’t been many and for that I am grateful.

    I have one more round of Taxol and then I switch to another drug called FAC.

    FAC is a combination of three different chemotherapy drugs.  This will be administered once every three weeks for twelve weeks (so four treatments).

    The drug I’m on now is Taxol.  I’ve been getting that once a week.  FAC is a lot stronger than Taxol.  Strong enough that I can’t have it every week.  My body will need three weeks in between treatments to recover enough for the next round.

    When FAC starts my steroid dosage (these help prevent allergic reactions to the chemotherapy) will be bumped up from the current dosage of 4 mg with the Taxol to 20 mg with the FAC.

    When I first started chemotherapy eleven weeks ago, the highest steroid dosage was 10 mg.  I didn’t sleep well and I angered easily.  I was so glad when they bumped it down from 10 mg to 4 mg.

    I am less than excited to find out what going from 4 mg to 20 mg is going to be like.

    I will also receive IV anti-nausea medication.  I think my nurse said there are two of these.

    So, if you’re counting, that’s six different drugs being administered intravenously at the same time.

    I need to confirm all this with my oncologist.  I’ll be seeing her more frequently.  FAC is so strong I will be meeting with my oncologist every time before the chemotherapy is administered, as opposed to every three treatments with the Taxol.

    So I plan on asking her for details on the next phase of treatment, but my nurse has been doing this for a long time.  I’m sure she knows what she’s talking about.

    “You’ll need a driver when you get the FAC,” my nurse warned me.  “You won’t be able to drive yourself home.  You’ll be too sleepy.  If you don’t have a driver then we’ll keep you here in the clinic.”

    “Oh,” I said, my stomach plummeting.  “For how long?”

    “Until you sleep it off.”


    And the cherry on top?  The first round of FAC drug will be a ‘wait and see what happens’ game.  There’s no way of knowing how I’ll react until it’s administered.

    But… One more Taxol treatment down today.

    Today’s silver lining:  The first phase of treatment is almost over.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!


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5 Responsesso far.

  1. Linda says:

    Ha, ha! I thought I was the only one who “modifies” the dog harness! I’m not sure how big your dog is (looks fairly large) but I can tell you a 20-lb. dog can exert a LOT of pull on a leash!

    • Meghan says:

      Tilley is a pretty good size dog, though she’s small for a lab. She’s somewhere in the 60-65 lb range. I’ve been on the losing end (ie. yanked off my feet with my face in the dirt) when she decides she’s got to go after something. So I make sure and turn the harness around and give myself a little more of an advantage!

  2. Cindy Smith says:

    When do you start the next round of treatment?

  3. Mom says:

    I don’t know how you did it so far, baby, but you have. With good spirits and all. If you fine yourself getting cranky, call me on the phone or cry and get it out. You can do this, you’re a strong one, you are. Dad and Mom’s love is always there with you and so is the rest of my family’s.. Did you already read your new book from Stephen King? If not save it for chemo. He seems to get you in a good mood whether it’s creepy or not ( mostly creepy, your favorite). Take care and talk to you soon. Love ya, Mom

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