Episode XXXIII - Scar tissue that I wish you saw...
Neulasta Shot #5
Here I go again back to the center for the Neulasta shot. Oh, my nemesis! I had made the appointment early so that I could just get it over with and on with the side effects.
I have found, for me, that the later I have treatments my nights tend to be worse. Chemotherapy begins with steroids and anti-nausea medicines which tend to keep me awake. Plus, the full on side effects of chemo kick in around 2-5 hours after treatment. I like to medicate myself as I hurt, not be woken up from sleep in pain.
As for the Neulasta shot, if I take it early I can actually come home and eat without issue. Especially since I tend to get jaw pain. Usually by dinner it starts to kick in and I know what type of pain I will be dealing with. If I take it later in the afternoon, I just wake up mid-night in utter pain and it can take an hour before any medication kicks in. There was nothing like sitting up in the dark contemplating your pain. I wanted to avoid that as much as possible!
Me motivating myself (Happy!)... but this was how I really felt (Argh!).
I made my way back to the short term treatment area and found a chair to wait in. I had enough time to sit there and think about what I was doing to myself. Why must I need white blood cells?!?! The total time it ever took was maybe 15-30 minutes, on a busy day. Today was quick, maybe 10 minutes total. However, enough time to wish I was not there!
The nurse gave me the option to put the shot in my arm... which I considered. Then I re-considered thinking about how much extra fat my stomach had compared to my arm. I cannot believe I am saying it... but belly fat was probably an advantage. After asking the nurse about it, she said the reaction to the arm area could be more intense. I think my body's reaction was going to be intense enough in my tummy.
Pick a chair. Drop your shorts. Take your shot. Know what will happen.
Even before the side effects could begin, the Taxotere side effects were in full swing. The past three weeks had been full of new experiences and re-hashing old AC chemo side effects. From nausea to body pain, I was learning to cope with them all. However, the nervous system side effects were really new...
Whole lotta shakin' going on... Jerry Lee Lewis song
I have a lot of twitches and shaking going on right now. My body was getting kind of crazy. From eye twitches, leg trembles, to hand shaking... I was beginning to have more and more nervous system problems. Typing and computer use was being affected (explaining typos)... darn technology. The cell phone was harder to use... darn tiny letters. Jars had become sealed more tightly... darn air tight containers. Now I was transformed into a much older lady shaking my cane cursing...
Instead, it was time to get on some more medication to try and help, Gabapentin. Seems they wanted me on that medication to help sort out any issues and try to handle them before I get a whole lotta crazy shaking going on!!!
Learn more about Gabapentin, click here.
Besides the normal chemo side effects, I had to manage the Neulasta side effects... more bone pain. Just that all over achy, cruddy, icky, and crushy bone pain. For at least 3-7 days I knew I was going to lay like a beaten lump in my bed and drag around like an injured animal. I would also do everything I could to stop doing those things!
It was like your worst enemy took a baseball bat to your body... and repeatedly struck you. And repeatedly struck you. And repeatedly struck you.
That shot! It's just a pain...
In my head...
Did I mention that I felt like someone struck me with a baseball bat... repeatedly!?!?!
Though my bald head gives away that I have cancer, the many medicines cause more internal pains and struggles not seen. Like with many pains, they are not apparent on the outside... but they reek on the inside. Learning to cope and endure pain is part of the cancer battle. So is learning to force yourself out of those pains! Ultimately, be stronger than the situation.
In the end, it will make me stronger and tougher - mentally, emotionally, and physically!
My insanely happy optimistic self does not give up... next week was a week to recover. I would have a week off from any treatment giving me time to regroup, restrengthen, regenerate, and return!!!
“Get busy living or get busy dying.....there ain't nothing inbetween”
- Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption
Episode Reference: Scar Tissue, Red Hot Chili Pepper's song