I gave myself a needle!

This is exactly what my Neulasta shot looks like. Price tag: $2,850.00, and I will have had eight of them by the time I have my last on April 9th. I borrowed the pic from an interesting blog about a 21-year-old Swathmore senior diagnosed with brain cancer, who is now two years with clear scans (http://orionsneurologicaladventure.blogspot.ca/2011/03/half-way-through-chemotherapy.html).

This is the Neulasta shot that I get 24 hours after the end of each chemo. Only now I can say that this is the shot that I GIVE MYSELF—yes, I gave myself a needle for the first time in my life. Not a big deal to people with diabetes, to my son Graydon, who had to self-inject six days a week for two years after his 30 months of chemo for childhood leukemia left him with no growth hormone, no big deal to many people, but to me, a huge deal. The weather last Wednesday was a one-day snow event, and people from the Golden Horseshoe were told to stay off the roads, so that’s what I told my man—stay home, I’ll get Graydon to give me my needle. As the hour for injection came closer, I realized I couldn’t let Graydon do it without at least observing the shot first—there is no cartridge, like his injections had, and this one requires a little pull-back on the plunger (or whatever it’s called) to make sure there is no blood return. I had to do it myself. I took two Ativans, washed my hands with very warm water, and did it. I counted to 10 very slowly as I pushed the plunger in, then rubbed the site for a minute afterwards, then decided maybe I could be a nurse after all. Now I have to learn how to keep my finger on a pulsing vein—aaaraaagghhh! Never!


7 Responses

  1. I had the same one! But I was experienced by the time I did it from my ivf. A little tip, you can gently push it on different areas of your stomach, I would finally fine a area that didn’t hurt n insert slowly. Once I pushed it in I would leave the needle in for a few seconds do it would not back out. Hope that helps you! Oh and get LOT of pain meds
    My first one I gave myself I ended up in a ball crying on my couch from the bone pain, percs where the only thing that helped. The positive thing about u giving it to yourself is you don’t have to pay for an office visit! Good luck 😉

    • Thank you for the tip! That time I just eyeballed it and jabbed—I will use your tip on Wednesday. Weirdly enough, I too used Percocettes too the first time the Neulasta pain broke through—it was nasty! Took my breath away. Thanks for the good luck wishes—same to you for the reconstruction healing…

      • Glad I could help. Also before the pain gets wicked try to cut it off by taking a perc before you go to bed that night of the shot. I forgot about that.( not that I advocate pill popping lol but that’s what us cancer patients have to do lol) I just want to know now that here in jersey we have two medical marijuana places when will the health insurance cover that? Lol I didn’t try it during chemo, but I’m SURE it would have helped, then again I’m not advocating smoking weed lol.
        Oh did your oncologist tell you to try taking Clairatin ? I thought it was weird but they said it may counteract some of the side effects also, I tried but no luck for me. But ask your dr its just allergy pill.( there I go again pills lol) I think I have a topic for a blog lmao! Good luck your welcome to email me when you take your next injection if you need help. THx for the well wishes! We will get through this!!!

  2. Hi Jackie, I’m sorry to be missing this past couple of weeks. It’s been a roller coaster in these parts. I’m also sorry to hear that you’re in such extreme pain but happy to know that this part ends on April 9th. Hopefully all the pain and discomfort subside. I still think of you daily even though I can’t get on the blog as often as I’d like, and now the wifi at work has been cut off to us “peons” (workers) >angry face<
    I can't seem to get to your page on my phone either, I'm still trying to figure out how to use wordpress, it's pretty confusing sometimes.

    I hope that this note finds you feeling better than you have been and that you're able to enjoy some of your weekend. If you ever want to talk (have the energy..) you can call me (of course if I'm at work, I'll have to call you back when I'm off) but I'm still always here for you.

    Oh yeah.. I was thinking about something really funny earlier this week when I was buttering a piece of bread. It reminded me of the time we worked in the car wash… Do you remember the sandwiches that the owner brought us at lunch? SLATHERED in a THICK layer of UNSALTED butter on rye bread with salami? and how we scraped off the butter before we could eat the sandwiches? Hahaha!! Good times! We did get to go for a drive in her Rolls though didn't we? I've not been in once since. (but I did get a ride in a Bentley a few years ago lol)

    Love you & miss you ❤

    • Wow! I ADORE a comment like this! It’s a whole letter—you rock!

      I’m guessing when you say it’s a roller coaster out there that you must be talking about your new house! That’s an investment of every kind: emotional, financial, time, energy, but you must be loving it. A house is HUGE! Congratulations!

      No wifi, huh? but I’ll bet you get walkie-talkies or radios so you can still work, of course. I think that sucks. What does wifi cost them? And is the balanced by the frustration you and all the other workers experience?

      And I so totally remember those sandwiches!!! “Would you like a little salami on your butter sandwich?” Every time I hear the song Car Wash, I think of you and me and the short-shorts. Good times for sure!

      Love you and miss you too!

      • There’s more to the roller coaster than the new house, that’s just one of the highs of the year… and THANK YOU for the congrats!!

        it’s been a challenging start to 2014, one that maybe we can talk about on the phone when you have more energy.

        As for no wifi at work, I saw it coming. We have Mike phones (similar to walkie talkies) It’s a new company that bought out our old company & they’re trying to be the big bad boss… BAD being the key word. They’re succeeding at that. I digress… that’s for another day lol

        and yup, butter sandwiches with a bit of bread & salami hahahaha!! We’ve had a lot of fun times ;D

      • ps – new green jeep post up today!

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