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Friday, October 30, 2009

Aaaaargh....Good News that changes nothing and bad news that is annoying

When I had my MUGA done, I also had another mammogram for the surgeon. The good news is that my left breast--the bad one--is "clean." It looks healthier in the mammogram than my right breast--the good one--which was given a "cancer free" bill of health last month. Ultimately, this changes nothing. I still will have the surgery and radiation, because cancer is still there, even if it's invisible. Dr. Mohamad thinks that the great response to the chemo is in large part due to the supplements and visualization, so YIPPEE! It's working, and that's encouraging.

So, last round of chemo, I had a horrible time with what I thought was a worsening reaction to Neulasta. Apparently, while Neulasta can cause the type of pain I was experiencing, it's rare for it last as long as it has...basically, I'm still experiencing pain in my knees, hands, ankles, and hips. This is especially apparent when I drive and my ankles, knees, and hips ache and at night, when the pain in my hips and knees wakes me up and interferes with falling asleep.

At the same time, I'm having muscle pain and the sensation of weakness in my one arm, hand, and my legs. There is no weakness; it just feels like there should be weakness. I feel quite a bit of "muscle burn." For instance, while I've been walking quite a bit, I "feel the burn" even before I've gone far and even if I'm walking slowly. My right forearm constantly feels as if I've been squeezing a's tight, tired, and achy.

So, like all good patients, I called the oncologist, and apparently, her guess is that it's the Taxotere, not the Neulasta (or compounded by the Nuelasta). The muscle aches are not generally a side effect of Neulasta, but not unheard of with Taxotere. When I described the joint pain by saying, "It feels like my knees should be swollen, but they aren't" she was clued in. I guess Taxotere side effects sometimes mimic rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. These effects usually go away within three months of the last Taxotere infusion. Rarely, they last forever. Guess we'll find out.

It is what it is. And so it goes.

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