Today I received a large white styrofoam box via UPS. It is about 12 inches high, 12 inches wide, and 18 inches long, with very thick walls. Inside it held two tiny preloaded syringes, a small bit of bubble wrap, and an ice pack. The syringes are preloaded with medicine that I am to inject the day after chemotherapy. Each one of these syringes is worth $1000, but fortunately my insurance pays for $970, and I pay $30 for each shot. I am always amazed at the cost of medication. What in the world would makes each of these shots worth $1000? The medication is supposed to increase my white blood cell count after each chemotherapy treatment. I suppose that increasing your white blood cell count after it has been wiped out is worth $1000.
I learned that I have been assigned the CA drug instead of Toxel for chemotherapy by the people controlling the study. This is the type of chemo prescribed for me before I agreed to be randomized in a study. It is a 2-hour drip, with the complete laundry list of side effects. (Is it ironic that the girl from California, living in New England gets assigned CA?)
I hesitantly admit that I am getting a bit wigged out over the chemotherapy - no pun intended. I am much more stressed than I was before the surgery (and kind of scared too.) The risks and side effects for the surgery took up only two lines on the consent form. I also felt that I knew what to expect going into the surgery, even though the recovery was much longer than I had hoped. But with chemotherapy, no one knows exactly how I will respond to the medication. The side effects are known, but are not clear as to whether or not I will experience some, all or none of them. I think it is safe to say that I will experience some of them, especially the nausea.
It is only 6 days until my first chemotherapy treatment. I think about it all day and night. I can't sleep, I'm nauseous, and today Molly told me that I am looking "glum." She was right on target with that comment.
Cancer really sucks.