Tag Archives: Injections

VDT/VTD Complete

Last night, shortly after 23:00hrs, I made my way to my Drug’s Drawer, which it’s quite a distance from my bed, removed the packet of thalidomide and felt relieved, that for the foreseeable future, I was taking my last dose of thalidomide. Once I swallowed the two plastic coated tablets, that was it, VTD/VDT was over. I was done.

Considering that I did not know I was going to be on VTD/VDT, nor did I want to, I can say that the last four months, 112 days, has gone reasonably quickly. In that time, I failed to establish the correct name of the treatment, but I do know that I took 224 tablets of thalidomide, 480 Dexamethasone tablets, have 16 more Velcade injections and thus have 112 nightly injections of Fragmin, equating to four full sharps boxes, which needed to be disposed of. All of it was done without a break. My last Velcade injection was last Friday, prior to the long walk to my drugs drawer, I gave myself my last injection of Fragmin, and my last dose of Dexamethasone, thankfully was a good few Mondays ago. The times, they are a changing.

Clearly, it is probably not the last time I will ever take these drugs. At the start of January, I said I had had my last ever Velcade; this was, quite quickly, not the case. I have learnt by now, in this merry game of myeloma treatment, to never say never. I may have given myself my last injection of Fragmin, but if my transplant does go ahead, I imagine that I will be given something similar to Fragmin because I am not going to be moving much, and as the person trained in ladies’ bits and pieces said, my weight makes me more vulnerable. Unfortunately, steroids form a back bone to myeloma treatment according to the Medically Trained Person I asked on Wednesday, so at some point, they will also return to my life. In spite of that reality check, that in all likelihood, last night was not the last time I would take any of the drugs, I still allowed myself a wry smile and an inner flutter of excitement that I had completed this round of treatment. The sight of that empty thalidomide box, my oh my, did it give me goosebumps.


It is done. One more chapter down.

The journey I am on… Bloody hell.

Mamma Jones said that I should celebrate last night, but unfortunately, after a relatively busy two days prior, I was incapable of celebrating yesterday. I did not leave the flat all day. To be perfectly honest, I do not recall walking past my bedroom towards the front door. I essentially existed within three rooms. This fact, did put a dampener on any celebrations because my nemesis, Mr Frustration reared his ugly head. Though, that does bring me on to the second reason I am pleased this treatment is over. That side effect, fatigue. The fact I have taken my last dose of thalidomide, means that at some point in my near future, the level of fatigue I have been experiencing will fade. It will not be today, but they will and with just 11 days before I go in to hospital (possibly), that is most welcome. It is beyond welcome in fact. I do not want spend any of the days I have left, this side of my transplant, not leaving my flat. No way, Jose.

So, with great pleasure and relief, I can say, VDT/VTD, complete.


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Bone Pain

“You may experience bone pain. It’ll be different to the sort of pain you have had before.”

Yeah right, I thought. I laugh in the face of pain. Hahahahaha. I do after all, have a high pain threshold.

As it turns out, the Medically Trained People were correct. I am experiencing bone pain and the feeling is new. It’s kindly restricted itself to the pelvis and lower spine, unkindly, it did not assist with a good night’s sleep. It feels like little lemmings are playing the drums inside my bones and it is constant. The household favourite, Mr Paracetamol helps slightly, but not sufficiently for me to get comfortable.

Big Sister says it is nearly over. She is correct of course, the harvest is tomorrow, but that does not help me right now. It didn’t help me last night, when the drum was playing through my floo and down to my legs. It was like I was being punished for all the few times I have had pre-marital sex. At least that is what I thought at 04:30hrs.

If the world was a kind place, I would be able to stay at home today and watch films featuring mass destruction, which I find most soothing at the moment, but alas, it is not. I have to get up and go to the hospital for blood tests. I also need to shave my legs, as a contingency for tomorrow.

Why oh why is this my current circumstance? Well, it is of course, so I just need to suck it up and stop complaining. I bloody love complaining though.

I am trying to turn it around. If I am in pain, maybe that means that my stem cells are being mobilised and are escaping the sound of the drum to the relative quiet of my blood stream. I know what you are thinking, with my sort of medical mind, I could be a haematologist.

Onwards and upwards. Mind over matter. A means to an end.

It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine.


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Stem Cell Mobilisation

I am learning so much this week I simply cannot keep track of it all. Well, I can, because this shit is my job isn’t it?

Today I am going to tell you about the riveting world of stem cell mobilisation. The lovely chemotherapy on Tuesday was the start of this process and then on Wednesday, I started a ten day course of injections to prepare my body for next week’s harvest. I am going to keep saying next week’s harvest because there is no way it is going to be delayed. Hear that germs? No way.

As I sit typing this, I like to imagine that my stem cells are making the massive journey from my bones into my blood stream. They’ve always been desperate for a swim, they just didn’t know it. Well, some have clearly flown the safety of the nest previously, but I need loads. Millions to be not at all precise.

They tricked me with the injections. It’s actually two per night and not one. At least these are already made up and living in my fridge, and the syringes have tiny needles. The injections are to be taken in the evening, every 24 hours. I have selected a poking time of 20:00hrs. There is nothing like predictability, to keep one on their toes.

Lots of drugs.

I have finally been able to get my hands on a sharps bin, but I had to ask. The yellow boxes are dead exciting, and prevents my bin men from wondering why the hell there are 27 needles in my rubbish bin. Oh and apparently it is some sort of health hazard. I’m being thoughtful. The hospital did forget to give me antiseptic wipes, I have seen enough people give me injections to know I need those, but I am resourceful and some have been sourced.


In a few days time, I may apparently experience a whole new type of bone pain because of the injections. As this is a ‘possible’ side effect, I definitely think it will happen, so Mamma Jones’ is getting me some co-codamol so I can still party.

There have been a few, and by a few, I understand it is just a few cases of people rupturing their spleen following these injections. I am not imagining that this will happen. I do not want to be a medical marvel.

My fingers then are crossed. These bad boys have to work don’t they? If memory serves, there is either a one in ten or three in a hundred chance of them not working, but again, positivity will see me through.

As a friend kindly advised today, I’m just hanging in there.


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I am sure that there are many people out there who associate being poked by a foreign object a good thing. Maybe even a fun thing, depending on what the foreign object is attached to. In the world of medicine, and specifically to me, in the world of cancer treatment, being poked by a foreign object is not usually considered a pleasurable experience. Fortunately for me, thus far in my journey, the poking has been undertaken by Medically Trained People.

Not anymore.

Next week I will start a course of treatment whereby I have to inject myself everyday for ten days. The gift that is self medicating started early for me, just a few minutes ago to be precise. I have asked to receive an extra medicine not usually given to patients preparing for a transplant. I have asked for a drug that I am sure is really technical and stuff, but essentially, the drug puts my body into a kind of fake menopause. I simply cannot wait for the side effects from that to kick in. I understand that one of the side effects will make it difficult for me to get a good old poking the way nature initially intended. That though, is by the by. Nature sucks. Medical advancements and Vaseline are where it is at.

What is praying on my mind, right now, is pricks. The pricks of a needle. It was not a good thing for Sleeping Beauty was it? Well, a handsome prince did rescue her at the end, but generally, the lesson I gained from that particular fairy tale was that needles are bad. Real bad.

I know there are many people in this world who have to inject themselves everyday. Knowing this fact, meant that I had to find the will to do my injections myself. It is hardly fair of me to ask others to do the injections for me, as daunting as it may be for me to stand in my kitchen with a needle and syringe aimed at my gut. It would be a lie if I said that injecting myself did not scare me. Anybody who saw me build up the courage to do the first injection would see that I was afraid. I made up the medicine, which by the way was no easy feat, then stood with a timer, targeting the needle, then removing it, then targeting it, and then removing it, then targeting it, and then removing it before I could stab myself. It was not an attractive sight for I was pinching my flab with my left hand and directing the syringe with the right.

A complicated medical procedure

As it turned out, it was not that bad. I am sure as the week progresses, I will find it easier and easier.

It’ll never be a trip to the cinema.


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