I look around my room. It’s a fucking state. It’s always a fucking state- but this time it’s infinitely worse. There’s a bag of fucking needles in my room. Who do you know that keeps a bag of fucking needles in their room? I feel like I’m a fucking heroin junkie but they aren’t for smack. They are for Neupogen, a granulocyte colony stimulating factor or G-CSF I am on. My chemotherapy makes me neutropenic- which means susceptible to infection. The Neupogen stimulates my bone marrow to churn out neutrophils faster. The Neupogen is the reason I spent this whole weekend eating out, seeing friends and drinking beers. It’s the only reason anything beautiful happened at all.
But it’s not all fun and games. The bone pain is significant and I feel it everyday. The worst part used to be the fevers that came after the injection. I’d feel all achy and shitty. But when I learnt to pretreat myself with a gram of Tylenol that became much better. What remains the ultimate shitty thing is giving myself the needle.
I’m not a needlephobe by any means. I poke people all the time with needles, and don’t mind offering up a vein for a med student to poke at from time to time. But this subcutaneous injection isn’t so much a party. It is rather unpleasant.
But tonight’s different. Tonight’s my last dose of this. And I’m tired of taking needles. But I think back to what Donna tried to teach me. She told me to let every experience both pleasant and unpleasant deepen my being. You know what? You know what I start to think? Fuck this needle. Fuck this motherfucking needle. I’m going to do this.. “Bring your fucking A game” I start to chant to myself in the head. “I can’t wait to get this needle. I can’t wait to get this fucking needle! I’m gonna enjoy this shit! You don’t got a chance” I say to it. Then I really get into it. “Bring the motherfucking ruckus! I own you, this is like prison and you are my fucking bitch” I spit derisively to the needle. “I’m going to draw you up perfectly and inject you without a second fucking thought.”
I find everything I need. I lift off the cap, smoothly clean it and my skin, transfer the vial to the feeding needle, and the feeding needle to the injection needle. I pinch my skin and put it in. I push the syringe in. I start to tell myself “this is going to hurt like a motherfucker in about 1 second, but you are going to smile and you are going to keep pushing it and with every push you will feel more pain but you will instead be happier and you will take all of this thing. You will take the worst this needle has and you will smile at it. And when you smile at it, you will make yourself proud. You will be happy with the person you are. You will do credit to the people upstairs who are sleeping, and the rest of those that came before you. And I did. And it was one of the most wonderful moments of my life.
Peace and Love