Details: Neulasta shot aftermath or breakthrough pains

This is a belated entry, however, I feel it is important we all know what this is all about. There are folks out there that are wondering, “Am I the only one going through this?” We are talking about pain, specifically pain from the Nuelesta shot and breakthrough pains.

The Nuelesta shot insures your immune system can battle the onset of simple illnesses you may encounter. (Who wants to be bedridden or develop cabin fever?) With any medication, there are downsides to them and this was no exception. As previous posts revealed, it becomes a pain management regiment. You have to wait it out. You lay there helplessly at points; you just want it to end.

The first experience with this shot was more than unpleasant, it was downright freakishly scary. [Remember how I mentioned my fascination for the human mind, here goes…] You are told to have this shot pretty much 24 hours after your chemo to help ‘reboot’ your white blood cells to ensure they correctly combat the bad stuff. The shot itself is a sore arm for a day. Then, chemo fatigue kicks in and on day 3, your life (and those around you) is put on hold–literally. It reminds me of an episode from ‘Tales From The Crypt’; A woman wanted eternal beauty for the public to only be showcased in a macabre musical–with her immobile and guts exposed as she is tearfully wheeled on to center stage. No guts shown here, though I was tearful and immobile, feeling every bone being crushed like Lay’s potato chips. The worse place to feel this was the nasal passage. All the pain medication I had helped little. No one can do anything except sit and wait. This lasted for three days.

At the end, your body is physically worn out from the cancer, chemo in your system and feeling beaten up like the soldier from Full Metal Jacket.

The bright side is, with the support and guidance from our nurse advocate, I was able to avoid this with the following solution:

Claritin-D and Alleve (220 mg) [either 12 or 24 hrs should work.]

NOTE: Specific brand is mandatory. It is not guaranteed that everyone will benefit, but it is worth the try.

I took this the day I am getting the shot and continue on till day 3 of the pain (day 7 from chemo day). The difference is night and day. I function!

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Breakthrough pains are so much fun. They are like a roller coaster ride. You don’t always know when it starts, but you know you’re on a ride. The easier ones are those you can actually feel coming. You are warned and you just brace yourself. There are some that just comes without the warning and again, you brace yourself (and hope you’re not driving or carrying fragile things). The worse ones, however, are the ‘phantom pains.’ These are the sneaky ones and literally brings you to your knees before you know it. There are no bracing for this one, you are physically lifeless at the end of it. People can see the change–zero energy. Rest is the only option.

The bright side is, it does subside and you notice very little, even none, as you continue your chemo treatments. Pain management becomes a routine. Your body tolerates and moves forward.