See chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer affects all the rapidly dividing cells in your body, including bone marrow cells, which produce white and red blood cells and platelets. Fewer bone marrow cells means less blood cells. Neutropenia is a condition of the blood, in which your white blood cells have a low count of neutrophils. Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, is part of your body’s immune system, and it helps fight off bacterial infections. When you have neutropenia, you are at greater risk of infections, and your body is not well-equipped to fight back. Injections of Neupogen can boost production of your neutrophils. Neupogen (filgrastim) is a drug given to patients who have neutropenia (low neutrophil count). An injection of Neupogen stimulates white blood cell production. It is a clear liquid that is usually given as a shot (injection). Usually, your body produces a protein that stimulates the production of neutrophils. But during chemo for breast cancer, your body may not make enough of this protein. Cancer sucks!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Still in pain...
Today, the bone pain was worse. I am having a hard time being comfortable sitting, standing or laying down. Yesterday it was my hips and back but today I swear it was in every bone of my body! The nurse described it as feeling as if a mule kicked you. Yeah, more like being trampled by the entire herd at the Running of the Bulls! I have to keep reminding myself that the pain means the shots are working. The reason why there is so much bone pain is that the cells are being produced in high numbers in the bone marrow, but can't all get out fast enough and are pushing on the bone - it's as if there is a mad rush to get out into the blood. The statistics show that 24% of people getting Neupogen injections experience bone pain. Yet again, I have to be in the "special" category! What is that about?