I never considered the possibility of having to take a break from chemo. I’ve just been head down, and plow through to the end, always counting the weeks until I can be done with first the A/C and now the paclitaxel. But the fact of the matter is the neuropathy in my feet has been getting worse, and the nail beds in both my fingers and toes are increasingly more painful. I had been thinking that this is all within the normal range of side effects, and so while I complain, I don’t take any other action, except to be very, very careful of my nails. But Ken’s been bugging me to call my oncologists office and let them know. He’s losing sleep over it, having crazy dreams about it. Lately he had been teasing me that if it was up to me I would never say anything, about any symptoms, until I showed up for a doctor’s appointment with my arm in a bag (cause it could fall off and I still wouldn’t call her) saying “Yeah, my arm fell off, but I read on the internet that this is normal.” So I finally called her, and she asked me to come in on Thursday before my weekly infusion. She is concerned that if we don’t address the issues, some of the effects could become permanent. She feels that 1) we should lower the dose (it will not be any less effective if we lower it), and 2) I need a break of 1-2 weeks, which I was hesitant to do. I just want to get this over with, you know?
But the more I talked to her, and the more I thought about how well I was doing earlier on, most likely because I had a break between the A/C dose dense cycle and this paclitaxel, I came around to see that she is right about taking a break. Not only will it lessen my chances of having lasting effects of neuropathy, but it will make it easier for me to get through the rest of this cycle. But she was willing to let me make the decision, and for that I am grateful. She listens attentively, and is willing to let me have the final say. But she was right, and I just had to get to that conclusion on my own time, and in my own way. She gave me the freedom and the trust to allow me to do that. Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE my medical oncologist? Because I do. I can’t imagine going through this with any other doctor.
All this means that my last infusion will be in October instead of the end of September, as I was looking forward to, but you gotta do what you gotta do.