Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh my aching bones...

Today I woke up feeling pretty good but by mid-morning I had extreme pain in the hips and back. My first thought was "Great, now I have bone cancer!" as every ache and pain is now associated with cancer. I discovered that the bone pain is due to the shots I am receiving to elevate my white blood cells. To keep the white blood cell level elevated, injections of blood cell growth factors are given. These growth factors boost the number of white blood cells your body makes. The growth factor used in cancer treatment to boost white blood cells is Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (G-CSF). The treatment usually starts a few days after chemo. The G-CSF is injected into the fatty tissue of the stomach, arm or leg.
Now, I am quite aware of the bone pain associated with these injections but I've learned there are other side effects as well but they claim that the side effects of G-CSF are usually quite mild (Like hell-the bone pain is excruciating!). They say to relieve the pain with Tylenol. I tried it, it didn't work. When I settled in for the night, I finally broke down and went for the Vicodin!
And there are additional side effects to look forward to that include:
  • a skin rash and reddening around the injection site
  • Feeling sick
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • A high temperature (fever) and chills
Geez, will the fun never cease?

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