Skele-gro or what my doctors call Neupogen

Dearest Liver,

You’ve probably noticed me complaining about my Neupogen shots (or Skele-gro as I like to think of it), but I don’t know if I’ve ever explained it. The chemotherapy treatments that I get have the known side effect of lowering white blood counts. White blood cells are what help fight off infections in your body, and neutrophils, a type of white blood cells, fight infection by destroying harmful bacteria in the body. When your neutrophils get too low, your chances of getting an infection become a lot higher. If they become too low you can even be at risk for an infection from eating fresh fruit or veggies or from even being around fresh cut flowers.

In order to try and avoid all of that mess and to make sure that my neutrophils are high enough for my next treatment, I get shots of Neupogen. Neupogen is used to stimulate the growth of bone marrow, the place where your white blood cells and neutrophils are made. This hurts like hell. Bones that I didn’t even know existed in me start to hurt. Hence my name for it: Skele-gro.

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry breaks his arm and instead of having the nurse fix it, an idiot wizard removes all of his bones. When he’s finally taken to the infirmary, the nurse, Madame Pomfrey, tells Harry that he’s in for a rough night because “re-growing bones is a nasty business.” I know I’m a Harry Potter nerd, but every time I get a shot of Neupogen I think of that scene. And unfortunately she’s right, re-growing bones (or bone marrow in my case) IS nasty business! Bone pain is the worst pain ever.

Love and kisses,

Robin

p.s. If I can find a clip of this from the movie I’ll share it with you!

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