I had an appointment with Dr. T before my chemo infusion on Wednesday. My awesome friend (and former coworker) Pam was kind enough to accompany me and also hangout while I slept for an hour from my Benadryl induced nap.
My main issue to talk with Dr. T about was the neuropathy. I have been taking Neurontin which has been helping quite a bit. Dr. T called me last week and told me to increase my dose to two 300 mg pills a day, but the morning dose made me far too sleepy – I was like a zombie all day long. Now I’m on the 300 mg dose at night and 100 mg in the morning which is working much better. In light of the neuropathy happening so quickly, we talked about possible treatment changes. I told her that I’d really like to stick with this combo since it’s definitely working. My dose of Taxol is so low that it isn’t possible to lower it further. So if the neuropathy gets worse I have two options: drop the Taxol and keep taking the Carboplatin OR switch out Taxol for a similar drug called Taxotere and keep taking the Carboplatin. Taxotere is less likely to cause neuropathy than Taxol, but instead has a risk for pulmonary edema (blood clot in the lung) which is prevented by taking steroid pills the day before and steroid via IV the day of the infusion. You all know how much I hate steroids, so I wasn’t super excited about that idea. I did have Taxotere five years ago as part of my curative (pre-stage IV) chemo regimen. Dr. T also said that Taxotere is used weekly with Carboplatin by some other oncologists in her practice, but it’s not a well tested combo. So anyway, I’ll keep those options in mind if I need them later.
I also stared acupuncture about two weeks ago. I’m being treated for neuropathy as well as immune system function, liver function, general stress, and the muscle pain from radiation damage to my left hip. I’ve already felt an improvement in the muscles. It’s hard to know if the Neurontin or acupuncture is helping with neuropathy, but worse case I take a 30 min nap in a quiet room, right? I was treated by this acupuncturist about 10 years ago for tension headaches and I never get them anymore, so I’m hopeful this will help with at least some of my issues.