Tuesday, January 27, 2009


So the second half begins. One of the chief concerns about Taxol that it and its medium-cremaphor (derived from castor oil) is that it can cause allergic reactions in many people. I was to pre-treat myself with Zyrtec and Zantac 6 hours before the infusion (4 am) but as of 10:30 pm last night, the exact instructions were missing. Right before the infusion, they give steroids too. Some places give steroids up to two days in advance but fortunately, Dr. Henry doesn't. Good, I hate steroids. Anyrate, I didn't take both drugs like I was supposed to at the right times so they had to make adjustments. My blood counts were OK but the red blood count keeps getting lower and lower. She thinks it will stabilize for the next 2 weeks and slowly get better. So the main miseries are bone pain 3 days out that NSAIDS will eliminate and burning, painful fingers and toes that nothing will help in the short term. No nausea allegedly, but guess what, my main symptom right now is: queasiness. I think it is from the Zyrtec. The allergic reactions usually happen during the first hour of infusion (of 3 hours-they can't do it any faster) so I dodged that bullet.

It took a long time to get started. My official time was 9:30 am. I had to be at the hospital at 7:30 for blood work and then see the oncologist. My new crappy insurance demands referral forms for everything and my primary care physician was supposed to do this last week (along with sending one to the radiologist and the dermatologist). I had given the person in charge a list of dates and fax numbers and she was to call if she had any problems. Apparently she just threw everything away and made no notation of this. Still working on this. Also Neulasta isn't covered under Aetna's drug plan so their $10 co-pay doesn't apply. They consider it a medical procedure so I have to pay $630/dose (10% of $6300). Now Rite-Aid sells it for $3800/dose and I know they are making a big profit but I have to buy it from Aetna at their even higher inflated price.I need it tomorrow but they were to deliver it today. Still no sign of it.

Two babies under one awaiting chemo today. One looked the picture of health but the other, yellow and on oxygen. A bed over from me, was the nice lady from my support group my age who needs Herceptin. I didn't recognize her without her wig. Next to me was a demanding lymphoma patient who quickly moved our shared TV to his side without asking me even though I was there first. My nurse would be trying to treat me and he had a whole list of demands that he insisted that she comply with distracting her from me.Plus he kept leaving our shared john's toilet seat up. It took 5 needle sticks to find a suitable vein but the infusion was event free and long. No nasty tastes in my my mouth. I just read "The Life of Pi" and dosed off.
Another road game tonight. The Lady Rats finally lost by one basket to the Kicking Mules last night. I am not making these names up. Coach Steve surprisingly didn't go crazy-he really wants to win everything. The girls were upset and captain Tyler was crying. They triple teamed her most of the game. True, the other girls could score and did but she was very frustrated. At one point the other team knocked her down and then sat on her so she couldn't leave the key on time and was called for a 3 second violation. The Bedford fans were screaming "Over-rated" everytime she had the ball. I think it was the most hostile fan enviroment the girls ever experienced and most of the girls were too rattled to make their free throws. Naomi did, however. She can tune all the screaming out.

I am so tired. I really didn't feel like I could sleep until 5 am and then I had to get up.

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