The Mad Dash for Filgrastim (Neupogen)

My car is finished and as I get in and turn it on, something begins to squeal. Oh Murphy, please go visit someone else. I have 45 minutes to get to Palm Springs; even with traffic co-operating that is a stretch. Once upon a time, a long time ago, you could make the 13 mile trip in 10 minutes. That of course was prior to all of the fools that have decided to make this wretched, hot desert a permanent home. Don’t they know that even the Indians left for the summer?

UGH! People everywhere, driving below the speed limit, taking their half out of the middle of the road, stopping for green lights. The unkind words that sputter from my usually kind mouth are; Damn Blue-hairs! They cannot even see over the dashboard; the only thing you see when you pass them are the blue-hairs and their knuckles. Yes, someday I hope to BE a blue-hair, but I think that I will rock orange-hair to symbolize leukemia; I also hope that I have enough sense to stay off the road!

Anyway, I pull up to the garage and the mechanic looks at me like, “What?” I say, Can’t you HEAR that?” He says that it is the AC belt and that he can have it replaced in 15 minutes. Great, let’s just add another $60 to the $425 bill! I agree and tell him that I HAVE to be in PS before five. He says that I will make it; as a precaution, I call the office to let them know what is going on. They agreed to leave the door unlocked until 5:15.

Now, I am normally a very easy going person, I rarely get impatient or frustrated, but this situation was trying my nerves. That coupled with the fact that I feel like crap and look out! The mechanic didn’t tell me that he had to wait for someone to bring the belt to him. I told him to forget it and just put the car back together. He said that he couldn’t, because he had already thrown the belt away. At this point I am a very cranky girl. I played the leukemia card and told him he had better figure it out! Luckily the belt arrived and he had it on my car in record time.

I literally flew up to PS hitting all of the green lights. I’m guessing that I must have left Murphy in the dust! I make it to the office with literally one minute to spare. The nurse was very nice, gave me my shot and told me that I had to be back in the morning for another one. She also said that I needed two more after that. I told her that they would have to figure out how to transfer the next two injections to the City of Hope, as I was going home in the morning come hell or high water. KK had to catch a plane the next day and I wanted to go HOME. The last time I was here I ended up in the hospital with leukemia. I was already dreading calling Joe and telling him that I wasn’t coming home tonight. I needed to get home. I think that she was a bit annoyed by this, but I didn’t care.

Filgrastim (Neupogen) is a man-made protein that stimulates the growth of white blood cells in your body. As I found out last night it makes your bones ache; it kind of feels as though you have a toothache, deep inside your bones; especially my thighs and sternum. Hopefully the ache is just a confirmation that my bone marrow is doing its’ job. With a shot in the arm I was back down the valley; yet again.

 I am frazzled and exhausted and so sad that this week had to be the week that my poor cousin was here. I had “plans” and someone had heard about them; they simply said, “Oh, no you don’t!” Once again I was back at my mother’s, eating and sleeping. In the blink of an eye, I was back at the doctor’s office in the morning getting another injection and then KK drove me home. No favorite lunch or breakfast place just Jack-in-the-Crack drive-thru on our way. Mr. CML you win this round.


  1. Hang in there Michele, Murphy DID leave and you got the green lights! I had no idea the Neupogen made your bones ache... Do they offer you anything for pain? Just to take the edge off so your sleep is "restful"? No, CML did not win this round, or Murphy would have hung around and turned all those lights RED... If you like, I will have a talk with Murphy - I will include it with the lecture to your blood cells and marrow to GET ON THE BALL HERE! I know it is hot in Palm Desert, but there IS the comfort of your mother being there... At any age, until the complete role reversal where "we" tend to our parent's, there is a certain "comfort zone" in knowing your mother will bring you Chicken Soup if you need it... I plan to dream of jumping tonight, I love those dreams, my knees work, and the ground is almost like a trampoline! In the meantime, YOU just dream of the beach - the beach you will be Dancing on as soon as Mr. CML is finished bothering you. I cannot wait to see you with the blue hair do - except in Orange! Years to go before that happens! Yes, you - someday will indeed be a blue hair barely seeing over the wheel, but you will still have a bunch of friends cheering you on all along the journey! Love and blessings, Julia XO

  2. Thanks so much Julia, it was a just a small fight that he one, this time. Just enough to screw up my weekend!
    Jumping AND dancing on the beach sounds wonderful. I shall see you in my dreams! Love and blessings to you, my friend, Michele


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