July 3, 2000 - Good News, Bad News
Thanks for all the notes of encouragement! Such joy I receive from hearing from you.
My last chemo treatment on June 12th turned out to be a "bad news, good news" event. The bad news is that I got hit with the side effects with a vengeance! I had severe, deep, intense, constant muscle and bone pain for over five days followed by tingling and numbness in my hands and feet (what the docs call neuropathy) and intermittent pain for the next two weeks. Tylenol and Anaprox didn't even begin to touch it - the Tylox they'd given me for pain after surgery made it tolerable. Trust me - it was not a fun few weeks!
In the midst of all that, we went to York PA and I shipped most of our furniture off to our daughter in Georgia. We kept a bed, the kitchen chairs and the furniture in our family room which is built in. Seemed strange to watch my furniture being taken out of the house and to know that I wasn't going to be using it again! When we visit Jill and Brian, it will be even more strange to see it in their house. I also cleaned out cabinets, pitched ancient food from the cabinets, and rested a lot. York was beautiful and we enjoyed our time there.
When I got home to Orlando I found out that my oncologist had moved and I had to find a new oncologist. We met with him today - what a great guy! The good news is that he feels that I am hyper-sensitive to the Taxol. Since the Taxol only gives a 2% increase in survival rate, he feels (me, too!) that continuing is not worth the risk. So I am through with chemo!!! I will be taking tamoxifen (an oral medication) for the next five years and will have frequent checkups, but no more chemo!!! I don't even have to go back to the doctor for a month.
I am so thankful for this - you know how hesitant I was about the Taxol in the first place. This is an answer to prayer! Now I can start the final recovery process, start to grow hair :-) and get on with life.
You have been so stalwart and faithful. I could not have made it this far without your encouragement and prayers. Know that I love you and that you will always have a special place in my heart.
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