Today is Week 2 after stopping Taxol. I’ve started noticing a few more changes since last week. They’re still not dramatic or Earth shattering, but they *are* progress.
After the last couple of doses of Taxol I started losing the feeling in the tips of my thumbs and forefingers. That made buttoning my shirts more interesting. I was fumbling more with the buttons, and I could feel that I was missing them because of the loss of sensation in the tips of my fingers. It was kind of weird. This week, my fingertips are less numb. I can feel its still there, but it’s less and going away. My hands still burn if I clench them or wring them together – like when I’m drying them after washing. My feet are also less numb. I can feel my toes again, and I have more of a tingly feeling in the bottoms of my feet where they were numb before. When the neuropathy started, there were patches where I felt like I had blisters but there was nothing there. I also told my oncologist that they felt “crunchy.” Some of that was because they were dry but more of it was from neuropathy.
My skin is recovering day by day. It doesn’t burn anymore when I use soap in the shower. I’m not having to use gallons of hand cream to keep my skin soft. It’s not peeling anymore, either. I still have a few spots where it’s peeling on my face and my forearms, but they’re getting smaller by the day. I don’t itch anymore. Thank God. I noticed the other day that I had a bunch of red itchy spots on my arms, legs and back. Turns out the my body hair is growing back and I had a bunch of little spots like ingrown hairs everywhere. That was fun.
My hair is slowly coming back. So far it’s only a little more than 1/4″ long. Not quite as long as it was when I had it cut for the wig, but getting close. It’s all silver grey right now. I had grey roots before, so I’m interested in seeing what color actually grows in as time goes on.
I’m still tired. My energy is a little better, but not significantly or drastically so. I am not sure I expect that I will ever get that all back. I’ve seen feedback from other survivors that said that their energy levels never got back to what they were before cancer. Similar stories with chemo brain.
I’m still not very hungry. One of my oncologists told me at my 2nd to last dose of Taxol that inflamed bodies don’t like to eat and that my body was really inflamed. I could believe both, so when I am eating, I’m trying to eat things that don’t make that worse. Things like fresh veggies and meats. I’ve been avoiding gluten and dairy a bit. Unfortunately, I need milk and malt to mask the taste of the glutamine, so I’m not drinking a big glass of that every day for the time being. I’m probably getting 1 or 2 a week right now. The theory being that the glutamine was supposed to help prevent the neuropathy, so it might help with repairing those nerve fibers as well. My digestive system overall is a little happier, I think. I don’t want to get into the details about pooping, so I’ll just leave it at “it’s getting better.” Fewer episodes of reflux at night is a definite change for the better, too.