And the side effects pile up

I’m ploughing through week 2 of cycle 3 and the big difference I have noticed compared to the first 2 cycles is that the side effects are now building up in intensity. Tiredness has felt even more exhausting, sickness has been kept under control only by taking the maximum dose off all anti-emetics, dry patches in my mouth have turned into ulcers and taste changes are becoming harder to manage.

In addition, I have suffered from dizziness, to the point where I was unable to park my car straight. Some would say that’s no difference to normal but trust me, I can do better than that. My eyesight is also affected at times with spells of blurred vision and watery eyes. The worst thing for me has been a severe headache, lasting over a week, coupled with scalp sensitivity. I don’t know if this is down to the cold cap but I suspect it is. I spent the first week after treatment with the sensation that the cap was still firmly attached to my head. Not pleasant.

The good news is that I will no longer have FEC infusions so things are likely to be different in cycle 4. The worrying thing is I have just about got used to managing the side effects caused by FEC and now I need to learn how to cope with docetaxel and herceptin which are next on the menu for me.

In the meantime, I have had my first echocardiogram and the results indicate that I am ready to go ahead with herceptin. My heart will now be monitored every 3 months to ensure that there is no decrease in function. Whether my white blood cells are at the required level remains to be seen, but I am fully prepared that I am likely to have another week 4 in my cycle while my neutrophils increase to the required level.



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