Friday, June 8, 2007

Neulasta and our Medical Team

This day last week Karen gave herself a Neulasta shot. Chemo kills your whiteblood cells leaving you vulnerable to infection. Neulasta remedies this by giving your bone-marrow a kick in the pants to start producing more. The net effect is you feel extreme pain in your bones, mostly in your hips and spine (areas of lots of bone marrow). The doctor told us it'd feel like you'd been kicked by a mule.

So for the last few days Karen's been on pain killers and today the pain has started to recede. It's tough to manage as you can't really drive a car (to take the kids out) when you're loopy on Percocet.

A lot of folks have been inquiring about our care providers and offering references to other doctors etc. It's always better to get a visual, especially if you're reading this overseas (as I know a lot of you are). I thought it'd be nice to post a little bit about them.

We've been attending Overlook Oncology Center in Summit. Our oncologist is Doctor Dan Moriarty. Here's a link to his credentials [LINK] and he's pictured on the right.

Doctor Dan has been great, a sincere, caring and knowledgeable doctor, and is truely committed to making Karen well. He's been doing this for 30 years so this isn't his first rodeo. Exactly the type of person you'd want as your "cancer quarterback".

Another key-player on the team is our nurse Nancy. She's pictured here in the back row, right hand side.

Our team of nurses

Nancy has called us a couple of times now off her own bat just to check-in and I think you can tell just by looking at her that she's a very caring person. As you can see from the pics, this is a great group of folks, very upbeat and positive without being patronizing.

Overall we couldn't be happier with the care and support we've received at all levels. If you'd like to learn more about the center or group we're working with click here: [LINK].

We start the 3rd chemo round this coming Monday.


Cort said...

I know your friend, Heather. I just wanted to wish you the best. I'm batteling a very rare cancer for over a year now. I've been taking the neulasta shot for about that long as well. I'm sorry to hear you're getting such side effects (being kicked like a mule). I don't know if i'm used to the shot because honestly I don't remember it feeling that awful. I know the first few months I got it I had horrific hip pain and spine shots... but they eventually faded or i'm just used to them now. I guess what i'm trying to say... is everything does "suck" to be blunt, but you get through it. Just smile and bear it! GOODLUCK!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen my name is also Karen. I saw your blog and felt moved to tell you that I, too, am praying for your speedy recovery. I can see you are bless with many wonderful people in your life. I know God will restore you to good health soon. I just went through a chest x-ray that showed a nodule on my left lung, a CT scan that showed a nodule as well. It is the PET that showed no activity and that the scan was negative. My family doctor is going to follow up with a repeat CT in about 3-6 months. I can hardly wait to hear of your completing treatment and your recovery. I am saving your blog to my favorites here in West Virginia.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen, this is Karen again. Just read your update. I understand about the loopy feeling but everyone reacts differently on pain medication based on their body build and history of pain management. I am on Lortabs, Neurontin and xanax but because of my weight (body size) and having taken various pain medications in the past, I can still drive.

As to your response to the Neulasta I understand of one of the side effects is that deep bone pain. You remember like the pain we all had after playing so hard that when came in we just ached all over. I figure you're such a strong person that you have gotten used to the pain as opposed to the pain going away. Of course, I've heard other opinions like - 1) the pain lessens as the bone marrow gets used to the shock of having to generate new cells so rapidly, 2)some say there is not any real pain because it is the marrow that is affect.

Yeh, right I say it hurts and will hurt somewhat because it is stimulating the marrow to function at an increased level and I think it will get less as you get used to it. I hope everything else is going well.

I have been praying for you and your family. Let you know more about my aches and pains another day. See Ya.

habib khan said...
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