Getting a white blood cell and friend boost after chemo

Blood cell types vectorOne day after receiving my first chemo treatment I decided to start this blog. Also that day I had to go back to the cancer center to get a shot which would boost my white blood cell count. In this short post I will share that experience.

In the previous post I noted how tired I was during the days following chemo. It is then not surprising that I forgot making a trip to the cancer center for a shot which would boost my white blood cell counts. Luckily I keep a log of everything going on so I don’t miss out on anything I’ve done. Actually I would recommend all chemo patients keep a log of some sort due to “chemo brain” (more on that in a future post).

A good friend took me to the appointment. I really appreciate him doing so. My wife has already been overwhelmed trying to keep up with work and caring for me. In the last few weeks I’ve learned how important it is to accept help from friends and family. This friend in particular really helped me to stay positive. Before and after the appointment we drove around and just talked. Talking seems to sometimes be a lost art these days due to technology and social media.

At the appointment I received a shot of Neulasta (pegfilgrastim). Chemo is effective against many types of cancer due to the fact it prevents cells in the body from dividing and growing. Since cancer cells rely upon diving and growing it is possible for chemo to attack those cancer cells directly. Unfortunately however chemo also affects many good cells within the body. White blood cells in particular are attacked by chemo treatments. This means chemo patients have a dramatically increased chance of getting an infection. Neulasta is a common white blood cell booster used by chemo patients.

In the future I may not have to go back to the cancer center to get this shot. Originally I was supposed to have a Neulasta Onpro. The Onpro is a cool little device that is attached to the arm. At the designated time, in this case about a day after chemo, the Onpro device will automatically give the patient a shot of Neulasta. This is great for chemo patients since they don’t have to make an additional trip to the doctor. Since the hospital pharmacy was out of the Onpro devices on the day I had chemo, it was necessary for me to come back for the shot.

I’m not really sad the hospitals pharmacy was out of the Onpro devices. Going back to the doctor meant I was able to hang out and talk with my friend for a while. Looking back I let work and other projects get in the way of hanging out with friends. After I am through the chemo process I hope to change that and become a better friend to many of the people in my life. It’s sad it took getting cancer for me to realize how important friends really are.

I’ll end this post here. Even though getting my white blood cells boosted was the reason for my appointment that day, I think it is more important that I learned a life lesson. My understanding of how important friends are was boosted. Perhaps the world today would be a better place if people just understood how important friends are and took more time in their lives to spend time with friends.

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