Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Abraxane and Neulasta

Last Friday, I was able to finish my first full cycle of Abraxane. My white blood cell levels were 1.6 (had to be above 1.5), and we were able to go through with the treatment. The last two times, I had opted out of taking the anti-nausea drug before the treatment. I didn't feel like I needed it. Thankfully, everything went well and I didn't have to take that extra drug in my body.

Since this was the last of the first full cycle, I needed to give myself a shot 24 hours after the chemo treatment. Give myself a shot. My husband said he couldn't do it. My oncologist asked if I knew a nurse or a diabetic who could give me the shot. I chose to give it to myself. Give myself a shot.

Unfortunately, I was busy all day Saturday and completely forgot about the Neulasta shot. I remembered right before I was about to go to sleep. My husband didn't want to watch, so I had to take A1 with me. He went to the kitchen with me to give me moral support.

I took the shot out of the refrigerator, remembered to clean the area with alcohol, grabbed a big chunk of belly fat, and stalled for 15 minutes. I should have read the directions thoroughly, but I thought that I could remember all that the nurse had told me to do. By the way, I forgot to wash my hands.

I prayed. I looked around the room and at A1. I took deep breaths. And then, my spontaneous side kicked in. I slowly stuck the needle into my belly fat. Not bad. And then, the pain kicked in. This is a stinky (not smelly) shot. It reminded me of my monthly Xgeva shot, except the pain in this one lasts longer.

Sunday night is usually the time that the aches and pains of the Abraxane kick in. This time, it was intensified. I reread the Neulasta side effects and found that it too had a "body ache" side effect. The two drugs had joined forces in their side effects. By the time Monday morning hit, I had woken up multiple times because of the aches in my lower back. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights had been spent at various church/pastor related functions. Could not opt out of these. I sat through them with lower back pain that continued to intensify.

By Monday night, it was worse. Thankfully, I was so exhausted from the weekend that I conked out. Unfortunately, the pain intensified on Tuesday morning. I had an intense, dull pain in my lower back, my legs felt like they were giving out at times, I had lower back muscle spasms, and I couldn't find a comfortable way to sit or lay down. So much frustration.

I am praying that the pain has peaked and that it will be better tomorrow.

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