The Tree of Life

I have a love/hate relationship with chemotherapy, especially the chemo I am receiving now, Taxol. I love that it has been shrinking lesions and lymph nodes, but hate the side effects I am experiencing. The most bothersome right now is leaky eyes.

When I was on Taxol in 2010, I did have some tearing of the eyes, but nothing like I am having now. Tearing of the eyes when you are receiving Taxol is normal because it causes dry eye, but I was told I have an extreme case, and to make an appointment with my opthamologist.

I saw my opthamologist this week. As soon as he checked my eyes,  he noticed that I was having an allergic reaction from the Taxol. This makes sense because the tearing became worse around the same time I came down with the Taxol rash on my hands. This, coupled with dry eye, is what is causing the extreme tearing.  I was given some different drops to try, and am hoping for the best. 

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. My family and I went to Washington DC to visit with Michaela, who goes to The George Washington University. We usually fly her home, but decided this year,  to try something different. It was a lot of fun playing tourist!

Over the years we have seen most of the attractions only DC can offer. One place that we had not been, and Michaela suggested visiting, was the United States Botanic Garden. It was a great suggestion, and a wonderful place to visit.

There are different gardens/sections to visit once inside. One section is entitled “medicinal plants.” I joked if the Yew tree, that Taxol is made from, would be there. Guess what? Is was! The tree that is saving my life, and many others. The tree of life!



2 thoughts on “The Tree of Life

  1. Hi out there. I am sorry to read about the side effect of Taxol but at the same time I am happy to learn that you found at the DC Botanical arboretum a yew tree, that which allows for your treatment and also causes alas your watery eyes. I always love botanical gardens and arboretums for the simple reason that there nature is in order, I am told what I look at. Nothing is messy, there is a tag on every plant. I love that. This said, I know well what a yew tree looks like because one of them in northern France provided the cooling shadow to many memorable summer lunches at my grand-parents’s when I was a child. I was often asked to set the table for lunch at the side of the yew tree (in French it is called an “if”). I do not know how fast it grows but I do not think my grandparents had planted that tree, as it was much too big for being that young. Of course, until today, I had no clue that it had any medicinal virtue; I do stand corrected.
    I am glad you kept good memories from your visit to DC. As always,

    Liked by 1 person

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