July 31st, 2017
| Fighter: Soft Tissue Sarcoma
I have been through several more bouts of cancer than some, less than others. Right now, I am dealing with number six. I was the first person in my area to get the rushed antibody chemo treatment. Aren’t I the lucky one! And guess what? I got to have Neulasta Onpro. OK, I don't have to stick myself? I don't have to come back to the hospital? Good, let's do it.
For the uninitiated, Neulasta Onpro is a topical medical patch that sticks on your skin and automatically delivers a white blood cell-booster (Neulasta) the day after chemo. For those who are going through chemo, the immune system is already really depressed, which can mean a greater risk for infection. Having Neulasta helps prevent that, and not having to go all the way back to the hospital sweetens the deal a little.
The first time I had it on my arm, I woke up in the middle of the night and noticed this green light that seemed to come from under the bedroom door. The dogs weren't barking, but automatically I went on high alert.
I walked away from the bedroom door, over to my little display table, watching the door, and the light moved away. OK, I think, I just know someone is in my house. Damn dogs, why aren't they going nuts? I got my little gun out, then went dig out the clip from another hiding spot, and go to the third. Ok, I am armed, and I am not letting anyone mess with my home. Picture a woman stealthily walking back against the wall, gun held up, cautiously being quiet. GI Jane got nothing on me.
I swung open the door and told the girls go get 'em. Well, these two happy-go-lucky dogs just walk out the door wagging their tails. STILL no barking. Their body language was relaxed. Me? I noticed the slight green light started flashing. So, I very carefully and slowly moved toward the kitchen and…
found no one. I checked the den -- no one. Looked at the reflection in the fireplace glass and suddenly saw a green light flashing on my arm. The great mystery was over.
I let the dogs out to go potty, put everything back where it belonged and went to bed feeling like an idiot. The nurses got one heck of a good laugh from that one. They forgot to tell me that as long as it is functioning properly, there is a green light that flashes.
Fast forward two cycles. It was Friday. I showed up to work with my Neulasta Onpro. It was pouring that morning. I got in the office, turned off the alarm, and all of a sudden I heard what sounded like a fire or CO2 alarm.
I walked through our little office building (a whole 600 to 700 square feet). We have a heat pump which is electric, so it wasn't CO2. I couldn't smell anything burning. Every time I walked to one area, the sound bounced around and it sounded like it was coming from under the little building.
I talked to the owner and he said check to see if the sewage pump shut off. So, out into the rain I go. The alarm light was not flashing on the pump. I even tripped the shut off -- still heard no alarm. The crawl space was open, so I stuck my head in. I still heard the alarm, but nothing under there. I closed and latched it.
Eventually I give up and start my daily routine. One of the guys I work with came in and he did the same thing I did. Well, every time he came closer to me, it was louder. Again, I noticed a reflection. The Neulasta Onpro light was flashing red. The damn alarm was the Neulasta. Yep, they forgot to tell me about it.
Again, I was the nurses' laugh for the day. One of them asked me, "Didn't you read the insert?" Why would I? I already know the side effects -- it wasn't my first time getting Neulasta, just my first time with the Onpro. Which made them laugh all the harder.
To be honest, I laughed about both, too. I didn't mind that those stories are making other patients laugh, and the nurses too. Laughter is great medicine. When you laugh, but even better when you make others laugh.
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