Well, it was bound to happen eventually. I completely misunderstood something my doctor told me last Monday. I reported in this blog that I was done with infusions (still true!) and that I was moving on to low-dose injections (not quite true…).
Understanding my injections…
Imagine my surprise and concern on Wednesday when – after getting my first injection – I began to experience side effects that were just as bad as after my infusions. Headache, shaking/chills, fever, full-body muscle cramps.
I woke up the next morning, and I still had a fever. I could not figure this out… Why was I experiencing so many side effects on a low dose? Surely something was wrong! So, I called the cancer center. If you or someone you know is going through chemo, don’t hesitate to call any and all of the numbers they give you if something doesn’t seem right. I have only had to call a couple of times, and in both of these situations, they were so incredibly kind and patient.
During that morning’s phone call, I discovered that I had completely misunderstood my doctor. Again, it was bound to happen eventually. It turns out that the dose in my injections is the exact same as what I had been receiving through infusions (IVs). The doctors down at MD Anderson had suggested that I move to the injections at the same dosage because of how the drug moves through the body when administered this way. Apparently, the drug is much, much slower when injected subcutaneously, and so it is much easier on the liver.
So, I am still done with infusions, but I am NOT on low dose! I am still on a very high dose of interferon, and I still have those rotten side effects. But, the good news is that as soon as we get a few more things squared away, I will be able to give myself the injections at night right before I go to bed, and hopefully I will sleep through the worst of it.
Waiting for my meds…
Right now, the biggest pain is the mail-order pharmacy that is supposed to be sending me the interferon. My Navigator through Community has been awesome and has been calling the company multiple times a day to get everything moving. Unfortunately, the company seems to be a giant corporation with terrible communication and organization. So, rather than receiving my meds last Friday as planned, we are still in a holding pattern.
Until all of that gets worked out, I will continue to go into the cancer center to do the injections on Monday/Wednesday/Friday.
Self-injections and great liver numbers!
Today was my 3rd injection. Last Wednesday, the nurse did it all for me and walked me through it step by step. On Friday, I mixed the solution, filled the syringes, and gave the injection all by myself (under the watchful eye of a nurse). I’m not gonna lie… I’m very proud of myself!
Today I went in for blood work and to do my 3rd injection. Good news: my liver numbers came back normal! Bad news: My white blood cell counts were a bit low, so we’re keeping our eye on that. But, they weren’t low enough to stop today’s treatment. I gave myself an injection for the second time, and now I’m home waiting for the side effects to begin.
I am very much looking forward to when I can give the injection at night. Once that begins, I will be able to get into a better routine. Doing the injections during the day means side effects while I’m awake. Plus, I won’t be traveling to the cancer center in the middle of the work day.
I asked if I could take the meds home with me and start my evening regimen, but they are not allowed to do that. If they dispense the medication at the cancer center, it must be administered while I am there. Bummer!
As always, I am so grateful for your prayers! Right now, I’m praying:
- For continued healing in my body and that every cancerous cell is gone
- That the pharmacy will get its act together and start mailing me my meds
- That my liver will continue to function well, and that my other counts and levels will stabilize/remain healthy
- For strength and energy!