Taxol without Avastin: chemo 3.1.1 and MRI

The last session of chemo I had a reaction to the Carboplatin®, so my hemonc decided to end that regimen (that would have been my last set in the series) and start the new regimen: Taxol® and Avastin®. I need the results from a brain MRI before we begin the Avastin, however, so today I received only the Taxol®.

Marvin left as soon as he checked me in. He returned with our breakfast burritos–will we ever tire of them? They are so good, I think not. He also brought a little white bag from the gift shop with a beautiful scarf in shades of white, gold and shrimp, and a Twist and Pout® in Balmy Belize. I love these lip balms, so smooth without being sticky.

The session began with blood tests; I am still anemic, so after the results were in, Claudia, today’s chemo nurse, ordered the Procrit® or Aranesp®  to be administered by subcutaneous injection (today it was my tummy) after the chemo infusion. All went well. I received my usual pre-chemo drugs, Decadron® drip, Zofran® and also an antihistamine, today, Benadryl®. Then, she and another chemo nurse verified the Taxol® 126, and I waffled between sleep and deep sleep. During my conscious state I managed to arrange my MRI for today following chemo. When it was time to leave, I felt like I could hardly stand up. Marvin firmly steered me with my walker to my next appointment in radiology to get my MRI.

At the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) prep room in radiology we got a locker in which we left all of our personal belongings that could be affected by the imaging machine: all metal, all ID and credit cards with a magnetic strip, which could get wiped out by the imaging machine. Marvin forgot his clip style belt buckle, which unfastened when he came over to me to squeeze my hand during the break. I was so chill from the chemo prep drugs I didn’t need anything to relax me further for the MRI. I’m not usually claustrophobic but can become so depending on the other stresses going on at the time. The first run was about 20 minutes with the machine clanging and pinging and knocking its way through the various stages, occasionally moving my body one way or another. With the ear plugs the sounds were tolerable as they usually are for me during this procedure. I had no problem keeping my head still as required.

That was much easier than being absolutely still when I was lying on my stomach during the MRI for my breasts some months ago. Lying on your stomach with your breathing causing your body to rise and fall naturally, and more so if, like me, you tend to deep breathe during procedures to stay calm. At that time we had to redo a couple of pieces of that MRI while I adjusted my very hyper breathing.

Anyway, after the 20 minutes the techs pulled me out to administer a contrast agent through a butterfly IV. Next time I have to remember to have the infusion center insert the proper needle in my PowerPort® so I can get the contrast agent through the port. As it all went well with the tech’s superb skill in finding a vein, they pushed the button to send me back into the donut to finish the additional 10 minutes of the test. All went well, taking about 30 minutes for the entire process.

The day at the medical center ended around 4 o’clock, so I was ready for nothing more than going home to sleep. It seemed like a long day, and my body is still lethargic. I’m sure I will sleep deep as soon as my head hits the pillow tonight.

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