Episode XXXVIII - Lose Yourself
Neulasta Shot #6
I had unfortunately had a pretty rough nauseous night, so going in for the Neulasta shot was less appealing than normal. To try and help put me in a good mood I purposely put on my happy, bright color shirt & cap. I was willing to pretty much do anything to keep my attitude positive and I nothing like bringing a little cheer into the cancer center!
Here I go again...
Treatment for Neulasta was so simple. It amazes me each time how quickly the process was... check in, go to short term treatment, sit down, take shot, and leave. Usually it takes around 15 minutes and painless. Painless, because I do not have an issue with shots. Plus, as many times I am stuck with a needle for chemo, the small shot seems minor. Unfortunately, the side effects were not minor!
A room with a view. Getting a tiny shot...
Some days you knowingly walk into a world of trouble. Each time I walk into treatment for the Neulasta shot I knew that it was going to be a tough week. While I do not dread the shot, I do not look forward to the pain that it brings. It was an unavoidable necessary evil! I understand that. I recognize that. I even respect that. However, I do not enjoy it!!!
The reality the shot brings me...
The pain that something so small can cause was dumbfounding. Each treatment has created it's own challenges. For me, I seem to be affected either Top to Bottom or Bottom to Top:
Top to Bottom
The shot will start the bone pain in my jaw and neck. It will work its way down my body. Usually, when it starts this way, I will be unable to eat for a day or two without major discomfort. Each bite of food will feel as if it was breaking my jaw when I chew. It will work its way throughout my body. Usually making breathing challenging (rib cage pain) and walking difficult (hip & knee pain).
Bottom to Top
The shot will start the bone pain in my legs. It will work its way up my body. Usually, when it starts this way, I will be unable to walk easily due to my knees feeling like they will snap. My hips and knees will be in so much discomfort that it will convince my brain that I am incapable of walking. However I will walk, just in severe pain. Eating will be less difficult, but my neck will still feel incapable of holding my head.
The treatment I had was definitely Bottom to Top. I was grabbing the end of the bed when I walked or should I say wobbled. The distance from the bed to the toilet seemed like a long distance track. Getting back into bed seemed like a monumental task... where was my adjustable bed option?!
Neulasta is to Bane what I am to Batman!
Unfortunately, both ways will provide an overall body pain that I cannot truly describe. The pain will intensify and linger until eventually it gradually fades. There was no way to determine how long or short it would last as each time it was different. I am not sure if I will ever get used to it, but I refuse to let it damper my spirits!
In my head...
I can officially say I am halfway through with the Taxotere treatment! I only have two more shots to endure... which I am very grateful for. Each one of these treatments tests my resolve and the resolve of those around me. My poor family, the more I linger in pain the more they often have to watch and listen to my insane rantings. I suppose I am allowed a tiny bit of understanding. That or they need to just lock me away in my room for a week... I better not give them that option!!!
“If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane.”
- Robert Frost
Episode Reference: Lose Yourself, Eminem song