I almost hate to say that this first chemo went well because it is like saying that you haven't been sick in awhile. That is a guarantee that you will break out with something by the next day. I was so nervous about starting chemo again because of how terrible the first four rounds of the other chemo went. I had been told by several doctors and many other people that taxol was a different beast, but I was still anxious about it. I had really enjoyed the month break from chemo and didn't want to start it back up again. I had written in the last post about the 2 drains I had placed under my left armpit to drain the fluid that had built up after surgery. I had the drains for a week and then had a follow-up with Dr. Arredondo on the 20th. The drains had been draining pretty good but one of them stopped about 2 days before I went to see him. I hadn't had any problems with them other than the fact that this nerve going down the back of my left arm was acting up. This is the same nerve that I had problems with after my mastectomies. When they were putting in the drains, the nurse said that I looked like I was in pain. She asked where it was hurting, and I told her that the nerve was beginning to hurt down my arm. This continued from that point on and by the time I went back to Dr. A it was really uncomfortable. It felt like someone had a hot poker and was burning the back of my arm. I told Dr. A about it, and he said the drains may have set off a superficial nerve. When he pulled that drain soon after, I about came off the table. That nerve went crazy and sent that horrid pain down my arm. He grabbed my hand and apologized for the pain. Then, we agreed that the drain must have been on that nerve. I've still had some nerve pain down the arm since, but nothing like that day or that burning sensation like before. It will probably just take some time to settle down. He didn't pull the other drain because he said he wants to be conservative with it so we don't have to do this again. I agreed. He told me to call when the drainage got down to 15 mL or less. Over the weekend, the drainage decreased so I called them on Monday. Tuesday morning I got the second drain out, and I can't say I miss them. I needed those out to start chemo on Wednesday, so this was good. Chemo went well with no allergic reactions or major side effects. The only hard thing was the strong benedryl they gave me before the chemo knocked me on my rear. I could hardly keep my eyes open during the 3 hour chemo and to drive home afterwards. I can handle this though. I'm not complaining at all. If they can all go this smooth, I can definitely do this. Now I just have 11 more chemo treatments to go. They will be every week if there are no hang ups.
Like I said before, it seems much easier to thank God a lot when things are going well. I've been trying to teach myself to find several things every day that I'm grateful for because there are so many blessings each day that God gives us. We just have to look harder on "bad days" to see them. Things are not always going to go our way and the road is not always going to be smooth, but if we turn our self-centered focus on God then it makes the ride easier and worth it. I challenge each of you and myself to take time this week to do something nice for someone else. It may be someone you know or a stranger. Do something you wouldn't ordinarily do to bless their lives. Pay for someone's coffee standing behind you in line or tell your checker at the grocery store what a blessing they are to you. Whatever it is, step out of your comfort zone and just do it. I think you'll be surprised how much joy it brings you to give God the glory through acts of kindness to your neighbor. This is what God calls us to do daily, but let's challenge ourselves to get it done this week. I love reading your comments and encouragements on my blog, so if you feel inclined please keep them coming. It helps me get through the rough spots. God bless you and love each of you. Shay