Pacific Yew Tree.  Taxus Brevifolia

Pacific Yew Tree. Taxus Brevifolia

Tomorrow I start taking a new chemotherapy drug. So the devil I knew is no longer part of the picture. It's a relief not to take the previous two drug combo I was taking. It is nicknamed in chemo circles as the red devil for a reason. But now, I have to deal with a whole new set of side effects. So I didn't want to look at the side effects sheet. Sometimes it's better if you just don't, because it's as bad as those pharmaceutical commercials: a long laundry list of bad stuff.

Taxol is an irritant.", It stars. No shit. "If the medication escapes from the vein it can cause tissue damage." Great. "Your white and red blood cells and platelets may decrease." No news there. Hair loss. HAHAHA. Don't have to worry about that one! Sensitivity to sunlight. SPF 45 required. The following symptoms require medical attention. Nausea. Vomiting. Diarrhea. Bleeding. Pain in joints and muscles. Numbness of hands and feet. Chills. Shortness of breath. Hives. But do not worry the majority of these reactions occur within the first 10 minutes of an infusion. I guess it's a good thing I will be inside a hospital facility. I stopped there. That's more information than I care to know.

But it also explained about the class of chemotherapy drugs Taxol belongs to. It's an alkaloid. Alkaloids are made from plants. Taxol is made from the bark of the Pacific Yew Tree (Taxus Brevifolia). It grows in the Klamath Mountains, a series of mountain ranges in northwestern California and Southwestern Oregon. I like that. I like to think that something in this chemical infested drug comes from nature.

In fact, the only way I have been able to sit on that infusion chair for over 3 hours at a time having pharmaceutical drugs pumped into my body is by believing that every single compound is an element, a molecule, a particle that pre-dates me, and most things on this planet. It has existed for eons, floating in space, frozen on planets, burning in solar systems. And it just happens that is being placed inside my body by artificial methods right now.

Since there are no coincidences, it's meant to be. These chemical elements needed to be here. Inside me. I just have to do some alchemy now. That's all.