I left the Neupogen vial on the table for about 10 minutes before I drew the medicine from the vial on each of those three days. Drawing the medicine out of the vial as well as injecting the medication subcutaneously was no problem for me. My issue was with the terrible side effects I suffered from!
The number 1 issue was terrible, throbbing back pain! It started on the evening of the first dose. I had terrible throbbing back pain that repeatedly pulsed in my lower back. It hurt very much to walk, so I had to grip walls and railings whenever possible. The pain was only tolerable when I was lying down on my back with a hot water bottle or a heating pad on my lower back. I knew that this had to be a side effect.
The second issue- a weird issue, was itchy feet! Why am I experiencing itchy feet after using Neupogen?? My feet and lower legs from about mid-shin down was extremely itchy. My lower legs were mildly to moderately itchy, while my feet-the soles, the top, and all around my ties, were terribly itchy. Am I allergic to this medication somehow? Did I somehow develop athlete's foot sometime between my first dose of neupogen and now? Not likely.
I ran out to the drug store and bought some Gold Bond Cream as well as Benadryl. The Benadryl aided only by making me sluggishly sleepy, while the Gold Bond seemed to provide some relief about 10 minutes after use...but about 30-45 minutes later, the itchiness resumed. I have to say that I'm glad that I had the Benadryl, as it at least made me drowsy enough to fall asleep when I could manage to not scratch my feet for 10 minutes straight...though I did wake up and spend at least an hour and a half staring at the ceiling, hot water bottle on my back and fingers scratching and rubbing my feet and legs.
I won't lie...I was tempted to say forget it and stop using the injections, especially after day 2. But I decided that since it was only 3 doses, I'd just tough it out. On Sunday morning, I sent a message to a friend of mine who's a nurse that has experience administering Neupogen to her patients. She did explain to me that bone pain was in fact a side effect of neupogen. As for itchy feet...no so much. I called my nurse coordinator and left a message for her on easy call. She also said that bone pain was an expected side effect, but she thought that perhaps the itchy feet was a coincidence. How could this be??
I went to the lab on Monday morning to get my blood drawn, praying that the Neupogen had worked and I wouldn't be forced to do another round. On Monday night, about 24 hours after my last dose, the itching went way down, and the back pain stopped.
On Tuesday morning, my transplant coordinator called me and let me know that my white count had went from 1.8 to 16.-something. Wow, that's quite a jump! I hope it's not too high...?
I did my routine repeat blood work on Thursday morning, and found out on Friday afternoon that my white count was now 8.0, a much more acceptable number. I have been told to continue holding the mycophenolate sodium, but to resume taking my valcyte and my sulfamethoxazole. Let's hope that the neupogen gave my white count the kick in the butt it need to go up to an acceptable level and STAY there. Here's to hoping..
Current WBC Count: 8.0