I was antsy when medical aid hadn’t approved these new meds after two weeks. I couldn’t influence the process at all so I decided to let it go. Whether I’d be getting the meds or not, I’d be okay.
As soon as I did that, they approved it – well, a week or so later. Off I went last Friday afternoon to get the jab. The sister showed me the congealed liquid in the syringe that she’d taken out of the fridge. As she held onto it to warm it up a bit, I sat in the chemo suite looking around at the patients hooked up to chemo drips. The stuff looks so unassuming hanging in a bag in its clear liquid form as though it has nothing to hide and yet it’s one of the most destructive creations I’ve ever come across. I’m so relieved to be over that stage and very glad that I chose not to have more of the toxic gunk.
Back to the task at hand
I took this first injection lying down – literally. 2 minutes isn’t long. It takes longer to brush my teeth and I do that without thought. But focussing on relaxing a bum cheek (which I learned to do in hospital otherwise it’s really painful) while a needle’s inserted and burning liquid flows into the surrounding muscle, was a bit stressful. Considering how I feel about chemicals / medicines, I suppose I’d built myself up for it.
That was 3 days ago. Since then, I’ve had an “egg” on my bum – like the egg you get when you bump your head against the corner of the cupboard door. (It’s been done…) Every now and then, it aches, but mostly I don’t know it’s there except when I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror. A cloud, the colour of gentian violet, has spread across the injection site where the liquid was forced in. It’ll heal in time.
I’m busy watching out for side effects but it’ll be difficult to tell until I have the second jab next month. They could be any of these which you’ll see are pretty broad and vague:
- injection site pain, swelling, redness
- loss of appetite
- upset stomach
- back pain
- joint pain
- muscle pain
- flushing and sweating
- trouble sleeping
- trouble breathing
I don’t quite understand the bone pain that the oncologist mentioned might hang around for the first week. With chemo, bone pain is caused by the meds killing the blood cells manufactured in the bone. Why else might one have bone pain? I read up as much as I could find on this drug and it’s not chemotherapy. I’m fairly strong now so I don’t expect to have many side effects. Perhaps further down the line(?)
When Faslodex is more commonly used for recurrent estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, the protocol is 1 of these same injections in each cheek every 2 weeks or so. I’m thanking my stars that I only have 1 jab once a month.
The time has come. It’s taken a while, but I finally started writing my book. It’s not a mere regurgitation of this blog and I’m announcing it so that I’m accountable for getting it done. Wish me many hours of creative juicing!