Neupogen: Day 2

I woke up this morning and had to force myself out of bed. My neck, lower back, hips and femurs were really achy. I hobbled around the house getting ready for work. I had a lot of lower back pain while driving into the office. By the time I got to the office, I was in quite a bit of pain. During our weekly company meeting, it had gotten to the point where I had to lay down on the ground in our conference room. The rest of the morning left me shifting in my chair and taking frequent short walks to try to get the pressure to subside.

I had my second Neupogen injection at 1 a.m. today. I walked into the blood & tissue center slowly and stiffly. I didn’t realize it, but Rosie had returned from lunch a was walking in a few yards behind me. I walked up to the receptionist desk and Rosie walked by my, laughed and said that she didn’t recognize me because the way that I was walking. She then asked how I was feeling.

“I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus.”

She laughed. And I was okay with that. At this point, I consider Rosie a friend who is helping me through a really great time in my life, and her lightheartedness reminds me of that. She said that it’s mostly men that experience pain and pressure from Neupogen injections.

Laurie from the Cancer Center came in to administer the Neupogen. She did her evaluation by asking about how I was feeling. I told her about the pain and pressure in my hips, lower back, neck, legs and now my chest, shoulders and arms. After vitals and my work-up, I got the two Neupogen shots in my left tricep.

Shots and Hulk-like bone growth aside, I think the worse part about this process is ripping off those damn band-aids. I swear the Central Texas Bone & Tissue Center has their band-aids special-ordered with JB Weld adhesive.

By the time I got back to work, I was feeling surprisingly well. I think it might have been because I had been moving around. Or maybe because it was mid-day, perhaps when my body is its strongest. But around 4 p.m., I got another wave. It would double me over in my chair. I had to focus on my breathing and then find a way to get myself out of my chair so I could walk around.

Focusing on my breathing helped a lot. That’s something I’m going to have to be mindful of over the next few days.

As I type this (10:45 p.m.), I’m really achy. The pain isn’t twice as bad like I had expected, but it’s definitely elevated. My skull has also joined in the marrow expansion project which makes for a kind of headache that’s totally new to me. Fatigue set in around 8 p.m. tonight. I generally don’t get fatigued.

As I was driving back from getting my shots this afternoon, I decided to go on a strike. A pain management strike, aptly given the acronym PMS, meaning I’m not going to take any pain medicine. I see this as a rite of passage and an invaluable life experience. I’m sure he’s had to endure so much pain and my strike is my way of trying to take some of his pain away. If I could take it all away, I would.

I thought a lot about something this afternoon: Over the past two years, I’ve lost my dad, my grandpa, my brother and a child. If I could have done anything to save them, I would have. Now I have the opportunity to help someone.

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