Thursday, 27 November 2014

Ouch - Neupogen


Now that I am neutropenic (with a titchy white blood cell count), I can't have chemo this week and instead I have to have a course of 5 injections of Neupogen to boost my bone marrow.

And Neupogen has put my Taxol aches in their place.  The first injection was fine but today the nurse arrived to give me the second and, soon afterwards, the bones in the base of my spine, hips and upper legs started up a major protest.  I even skipped my exercise class, thus breaking my own rule to keep moving no matter what to get through the symptoms,  but today even walking felt something of a challenge.

So I sat on a hot water bottle at home instead.

At least the pain reassures me that perhaps the injections are working. It is a little scary walking around snotty, sneezy, wintery Brussels with a white blood cell count of only 200.  Basically, my immune system can't fight off anything just now, so I'm keeping everyone at arm's length and using antiseptic gel on my hands all the time. My husband would rather that I just stayed at home but I pointed out that most days I end up in a lift with a load of sick people at the hospital anyway so I can't see the harm in making my coffee date. 

And I was an utter rebel today - I had a real, caffeinated latte!  Coffee is supposed to reduce the effectiveness of Taxol but I figured that it couldn't do much harm if I have to have a week off from Taxol anyway.  Oh my, did it taste good!

I'm not sure what to do about the pain.  The doctor told me yesterday I could take paracetamol or neurophen if I needed it.  But my oncologist warned me about taking anything which might mask a fever: if I get the slightest temperature I have to rush to A&E in case I end up with sepsis.  Anyway, this morning I felt so rough that I daringly took a paracetamol and that did take the edge of it.
At least the injection itself doesn't hurt, it goes straight into the roll of fat at my stomach and I don't feel a thing.  It is annoying to wait at home for the nurse though, and I'm too much of a wimp to stick a needle into myself.  So the nurse showed my husband how to do it and tomorrow he will become my nurse.

My husband is a highly talented person who could turn his hand to most careers.  But being a nurse is definitely not an obvious choice for him.  And yet he has already surprised me: after my mastectomy he had to change the dressings and clean my newly scarred boy-chest.  Not, I am sure, what he imagined when I swept down that aisle in my white princess dress and he looked me in the eye and said, 'In sickness or in health.'  

I love him more than ever for it.

But I'm still rather nervous about him sticking a needle in me tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment