My Prostate Cancer, Part 8

One of the side effects of Taxotere is that it kills white blood cells…

… cells that are absolutely essential for fighting infections.

And so, it’s standard practice, while doing chemo, to treat you with a medicine that stimulates white blood cell production.

In my case, the practice was to “install” a Neulasta Onpro device every time I had my chemo infusion. An electro-mechanical gizmo that easily fits in the palm of a half-closed hand, it includes a small reservoir filled with medicine, some microelectronics for controlling the sequence of events, a very narrow short catheter, and some adhesive tape for attachment to your skin.

After being filled with the liquid medicine, the device is attached to your belly (other locations are possible) using the adhesive tape. Two minutes later, a soft click is accompanied by a very mild stinging sensation–no worse than the flick of a finger. That’s just the mini-catheter poking your skin. Then a green LED lights up and the clock starts. In my case, programmed to pump the medicine into my system about twenty-seven hours later, which is timed for maximum benefit counteracting the loss of white blood cells. Once the gizmo finishes pumping, the green LED turns red and you are free to peel it off. Keep it as a souvenir or dump it in the medical waste bin next time you visit the doctor.

Message #1 to all patients about to use this device: The worst part is the two minutes waiting for the click. And then it feels no worse than the flick of a finger. After that you’ll go about your day and barely notice it’s attached to you.

Message #2 to all patients about to use this device: Frank did chemo and used this device for months and never suffered an infection.

continue… My Prostate Cancer, Part 9

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