On Tuesday of this week I had my second cycle of chemo. That went quite well and I slept through most of it thanks to the Benadryl they shot me up with. The day after chemo, Wednesday, I needed a shot of Neulasta to build up my white cell blood count. In this post I will share my experience using the Neulasta Onpro device to automatically inject the drug into me at home.
I mentioned Neulasta when blogging about the day after my first round of chemo. Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) is a white blood cell booster used by some chemo patients. This drug can either be administered as an injection by a nurse or a patient can wear a Neulasta Onpro device and have the drug automatically injected from the comfort of their own home. I was unable to use the Onpro device during the first round of chemo because the hospital pharmacists was out of the device. This week the pharmacist had them in stock so I was able to use the Onpro device. The actual device I used is pictured in this post.
Applying the Onpro device to my arm was easy. The nurse unpacked the Onpro device and stuck it to the fatty portion on the back of my upper arm. She made sure there was a good seal all around the device. A couple of minutes after applying the device to my arm it automatically inserted the needle into my arm. There was a click when this happened and I felt a slight pinch. There was then a slow green flashing light at the top of the Onpro device letting me know it was properly attached and ready for the injection.
I only had one concern about wearing the Onpro device: it would have to be worn overnight. During the night I tend to move a lot and I had concerns the device would become dislodged from the back of my arm. My concern was unwarranted. In the morning the device was still in place and the adhesive was sealed all around the device.
The actual injection for the Neulasta cannot be done for at least 24 hours after the completion of chemo. The Neulasta Onpro device is scheduled to automatically inject the patient 27 hours after it has been attached. At the 27 hour mark the Onpro gave a series of fast beeps to let me know it would be injecting the Neulasta. After the beeping the light on the device went to a fast flash. This indicated the drug was injecting into my arm. I didn’t feel anything happen while it was injecting. The injection lasted about 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes there was another series of beeps and indicator light went to a steady green. The green steady indicator light meant the device was done injecting and that the Onpro device could be taken off. My wife then looked at the fuel gauge on the device. It showed empty so she peeled it off. I didn’t feel her take the device off my arm. There wasn’t even any blood in the spot the injection was made, just a tiny hole.
I think the Onpro device is great for cancer patients. My side-effects from chemo are pretty mild, so it probably wouldn’t be a big deal for me to get an injection with a nurses visit. Plus I have a wonderful wife and great friends who would bring me to a nurses visit for an injection of Neulasta. But there are many chemo patients that can barely move due to nausea and other side effects the day after chemo. The Onpro device removes the necessity of having to leave the home a day after chemo. Heck, my side-effects may be worse in a future chemo round and I may be in a situation where the Onpro device is essential. One never can tell the future.
In this post I shared my experience of using the Neulasta Onpro device to receive a white blood cell boost. The device is easy to use and removes the necessity of having one more trip to the oncology ward for a shot. I hope the hospital pharmacy is able to keep the Onpro devices in stock so I can use this convenient injection method each round of chemo.