Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lacking Leukine

Last Wednesday I had my typical herceptin infusion and blood test, after waiting for 30 minutes past my appointment time. Also typical.

I was handed my bloodwork, as always, and was told everything looked good. I checked and my whites were very low but they are always low, so I figured if they said it was good, it was.

Later that evening I got a call from the nurse. My whites had not come up from the last week, and it was time for colony stimulating shots to prevent lethal opportunistic infections.

(They couldn't tell me that when I was there?)

I was told I needed to come in four days straight to get Leukine shots. It was very important that I have all four shots, she said.

That included Saturday and Sunday, and they wanted me there at 9:00 a.m. The nurse is only there for 20 minutes on weekends to do this shot thing so I had to be on time.

Um, I'm not the one who's not on time but I let that one go.

I have a hard time being anywhere at 9:00 a.m. when I'm healthy, much less now when I'm exhausted from chemo. But, I knew that the injections were important. Without them, I can't fight off any infections.

On Thursday when I went in, I asked if I could give myself the injection at home? I've been giving myself subcutaneous Imitrex injections for 16 years so I already know how. She said sure. Come in the next day for the shot and they would arrange for me to have it for the weekend.

I went in on Friday, waited the typical 30 minutes past my appointment time for the five second shot and asked again about the home injections - I asked if they had checked to see if my pharmacy had it? Sometimes my pharmacy is out of meds - I've had to wait for both Imitrex and Compazine before. If they didn't have it, I'd come in for the shots, I said. She said "Oh no, we're having it sent from a special pharmacy."

Surprised, I said "Oh, does that mean I have to be home to get it?" She said that I would, that they won't leave medication at the door. And, that it would probably arrive Friday afternoon.

I had errands to run and my husband (on Furlough Friday) did as well, so we tag-teamed so that one of us was always home.

6:00 came around, and no medication arrived.

Well, I suppose it could arrive on Saturday - today - especially if it's delivered from a pharmacy.


I made sure to get up at 9:00 today to call the oncology office, since I knew the nurse would be there. Just to check and make sure the call had gone to the "special pharmacy" you know? Not that I don't trust them or anything.

But, naturally, nobody answered the phone.

Silly me.

It's 12:30 now - so far, my Leukine hasn't arrived.

Want to take bets on whether it will or not?

How important is it for me to get this medication, again?

Clearly not very.

In a way, I'm glad I don't have the shot, as these injections have caused me some serious bone pain and also heartburn.

But, I also have an eye infection and having white cells to fight it could be kinda helpful right now.

(Don't worry, as a school employee I always have antibiotic eyedrops on hand.)

If there is no knock on the door by 5:00, I'm going to have a little talk with my oncologist on Wednesday.

Perhaps we need to switch pharmacies.

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