Monday, December 19, 2011

The Last Few Days

Well, Wednesday I went home from the hospital with a pump inside of a fanny-pack hanging form my hip. It had 5-FU chemotherapy in it and pumped continuously through Friday at 1:30 PM (a 46-hour drip). On Thursday, I sat around the kitchen table with friends and we played our guitars. It felt great to be out.

And when I woke up Friday morning, I didn't want to get out of bed. The toxins felt heavy running through my body and once I did get up and ate some food, the nausea revealed itself. However, once I got moving I felt a little better. I got to the hospital, they unhooked the pump and then gave me my Neulasta shot (aka Pegfilgrastim). Neulasta is an e coli based pharmaceutical designed to stimulate white blood cell growth. The side-effect is pain in the bones, similar to flu symptom type aches. I felt them for about 24-36 hours after the shot. Reason being is because it's the bones that create the white blood cells and as since the Neulasta causes an serious increase in production, it actually hurts. I took Tylenol for it as recommended. It seemed like using a Dixie cup of water to put out a camp fire.

So, I returned home from the hospital on Friday, only to feel nauseated again. I spent the afternoon laying on the couch occasionally stoking the fire in the wood stove, a nice feature when feeling a bit gloomy. Late afternoon, a friend came by with dinner and talked with me until I was started falling asleep. On Saturday I woke up to the sound of my friend's voice. Again, the toxins felt heavy running through my body. The only difference between this day and the previous was the nausea didn't wait around for me to eat something and and my bones were aching from the Neulasta shot. My friend put some water on the stove for tea and we talked while I got acclimated, unfortunately, to feeling like hell.

My folks came by on Saturday afternoon and spent the day with us. We had a nice day together and went for a walk down the street to see the neighborhood waterfall in hopes that some movement might help me feel better. A little later in the afternoon the nausea got bad so I took an anti-nausea med. Thank goodness my folks were here when I did. The stuff knocked me out cold, which is not workable when I'm caring for my little boy. So on Monday, I will put in a call to the doctors office and ask them to do what the insurance company requires so I can be prescribed the next best anti-nausea med on the list (the insurance companies like to put their customers on the less expensive medications first, then work them up the ladder as needed).

This morning I still felt nauseous but seemed to move through it a little easier. The poisoned feeling was still pretty strong as well. Once the afternoon came, we went to a friends house for a play date, where I could just rest quietly on the couch and watch football and move through the waves of nausea. The little guy having friends (he loves) to play with while I rest easy really makes a huge difference. And my being around friends I love, happy to be with me while I'm not feeling well, definitely makes a huge difference for me.

I'm feeling significantly better this evening. Perhaps round one of chemotherapy will wrap up tonight.


  1. So glad you feel better. Keep in touch.
    Love you Bert.

    K and S

  2. wow, Bert! Thank you for having the courage to share your experience! You have been a blessing and an inspiration. TCH

  3. Hope you have a nice Christmas. That FU chemo better watch out who it's dealing with. See you New Year's Eve unless you need something before that.