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Medicine Woman

For those of you that know me pretty well know that I am not a medicine woman. I don’t even take Tylenol y’all. For my first birth, I knew I didn’t want an epidural, but I did take the “margarita” drug which was fentanyl to ease the pain, but with my second birth I wanted zero medication…I only used my beloved Young Living Essential Oils to ease my pain.

So here we are one year after my unmedicated birth and I am about to be infused with DRUGS. Straight up toxic drugs. And steroids and anti-nauseas medicine. And anti-anxiety medicine. And sleep aids. What the what? Bear with me as I jot down all that I am about to endure medicinally...

For my type of breast cancer…Invasive Ductal Carcinoma ER +/PR+ HER-2 negative (for anyone who missed that earlier) I will be given AC-Taxol as my chemotherapy cocktail.

  • Chemotherapy medications work in combination to target fast dividing cells, like cancer cells and cause these cells to die. This regimen I am placed on is used to treat breast cancer.

  • AC = Adrianmycin/Cytoxan – is up first. I will be given this via my port for eight weeks, every other week. Infusions last 3-4 hours for a total of four infusions. This lovely combo and timely manner it is administered, is sweetly referred to as “the red devil” or “red death” because it is the “shitty” part of chemo and the "A" portion is bright cherry red. Awesomeness. I am being given this every two weeks instead of three because my type of cancer is so invasive and I am younger, so my doctor has confidence this plan will eradicate the cancer and that I can handle it.

  • Taxol – is up second. I will be given this via my port for 12 weeks, every week.These infusions are about 1- ½ hours long. This is the “less shitty” of the two medicine combos for my chemotherapy.

  • Side Effects for my entire chemo cocktail can include:

  • Neuropathy

  • Nail discoloration/damage

  • Loss of appetite

  • Hair loss (My doctor wrote a prescription for me to get a cranial prostheses...yep that’s a thing and official)

  • Issues with my exit (possibly including pink pee, pink sweat and pink tears)

  • Nausea

  • Mouth sores

  • Signs of infection (fever, chills, cough, sore throat)

  • Low blood counts

  • Allergic reactions (hives, skin rash, swelling)

  • Neulasta- this is a long-acting growth factor that stimulates my white blood cells, which are important in the body’s fight against infection. This is injected under the skin 27 hours after my chemo treatment.

  • Side Effects can include:

  • Pain, redness or irritation

  • Bone pain

  • Dexamthasone/Decadron- is prescribed to help alleviate or prevent nausea, vomiting sleeplessness or anxiety during my treatment. This is taken on days two, three and four after my chemo infusion.

  • Ativan/Lorazepam- can be taken as needed to help with anxiety, sleeplessness, nauseas, and vomiting.

  • Phenergan/Promethazine- can be taken as needed to breakthrough nauseas and vomiting.

  • Emla Cream- this is to be placed over my port site the morning I go in for chemotherapy, it helps numb the site where they will insert the needle.

  • Claritin- strangely helps the bone pain that can result from the Neulasta shot.

So yep, in a nutshell, that is all the medicine that will be swarming inside my body. I am totally outside of my comfort zone accepting this kind of treatment, everything I do on a daily basis is on the natural side of the road. But this is a whole new ball game and being the age that I am, with the life that I have, I am in no way going to try and be stubborn here. I will raise my white organic flag in order to kill this cancer and rid it from my body. I will also be incorporating natural alternatives to help in this process, (I’ll write a separate post on all that.) As for Western medicine- I trust my doctor and I know she is doing what is best for me. She will meet with me often to make sure I am as “well” as I can be during this process. She will help me when I am weaker than normal, and she will celebrate with me when we hit small victories along the way (like the tumor shrinking). My first goal is to get through the four AC infusions. One down today, three more to go.

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