As you may recall, Cathy’s chemo regimen was planned for 12 weekly infusions of a low dose of Taxol and once every 3 weeks of Herceptin. The first treatment went pretty well, but had a few hiccups. The first day’s appointments started at 7:30am with blood taken, followed by an 8:30 meeting with the nurse to answer questions and review the results of the blood work. The 9:30 infusion appointment didn’t start until 10, but was going OK as the port was activated, some anti-nausea medicine, Zyrtec, and Pepcid were administered while the infusions were prepared.
Unfortunately, almost immediately after the Taxol started, Cathy’s blood pressure dropped precipitously, making her dizzy and nauseous. She had a new experience: actually seeing stars. The nurse responded quickly, keeping her calm and encouraging deep breaths, stopping the Taxol and leaving a saline drip, then gave Benadryl through the port, which started reversing the effects, making her feel better. After checking with the oncologist, the decision was made to continue with the Taxol, but it would have to be done much slower and then gradually ramped up. That worked, but it made for a LONG day. We left around 4:15.
Despite the drama, the overall news is very good. Cathy was able to take the Taxol and has had more treatments without the bad reaction. The infusion is slowed some initially, but not nearly as much as the first time and works its way back up to the desired rate. The care is excellent and the side effects have been amazingly few. We have been able to take long walks most days without any problems. We are grateful for many answered prayers.
Although the numbers of Nomads was declining once the formal project ended, we were pleased at the number who stayed on a little longer. The result was some unexpectedly good progress in the apartment. As the dry wall continued to go up, it was mudded, sanded and painted, completing one of the bedrooms and a bathroom, and making progress in another. Also, doors were hung and trimmed.
Once the formal project ended, the work on the Beyond 90 house didn’t stop, but by the end of the next week, the kitchen cabinets were hung and much of the exterior was painted, finishing the major follow-on projects. On March 31st, Beyond90 held an open house to show off the transformation. Having seen the house before, it was truly amazing. We had a good time celebrating the success with other volunteers who had helped make it happen.