Day 2 - modelling my Buff Headwear, kindly given to me by a friend.
Last night, Rob gave me my Neulasta injection. Not before I googled it, of course. Spleen rupture? Acute respiratory distress? Eeek. We phoned the chemo ward to check if I really needed to take it. The very understanding nurse reassured us that it was prescribed selectively only to patients who were felt would benefit. Neulasta works alongside chemo to rebuild red and white blood cell counts, with a view to reducing the chance of neutropenic sepsis (very serious infection that will put a patient in hospital on IV antibiotics). I believe I have been prescribed this because I have small children, and thus a higher risk of coming into contact with germs that could make me very ill when my immunity reaches its lowest point. Each injection costs in the region of £300 - £1,000 according to the internet. So I had to accept that the risks in this case would be outweighed by the benefits. So far, my spleen seems happy and I'm breathing normally. One of the most common side effects, affecting perhaps 30% of people who take Neulasta, is bone pain. So far, I have not experienced that either.
Why am I having such an easy time? I've been trying to figure it out. Perhaps because I really am a pretty healthy person. And I've been trying to eat even more healthily for the last few weeks in preparation - green smoothies, gallons of filtered water, nine portions of fruit and veg per day and lots of 'healing' foods. Maybe because I didn't expect to suffer too much. I have been more worried about the long-reaching effects of chemotherapy - the potential for heart damage, reduced cognitive function, liver damage - than of the short term ones. I'm getting a lot of support and that must make a difference to my stress levels. And I'm trying to keep positive and see the humour in the whole thing.
Well, it's only Day 3. Still a long way to go. But I'm enjoying each good day while it lasts.