Monday, February 8, 2010

Catheter and Bone Pain

Ok - this one is really only for those that are currently going through or perhaps will be going through the harvesting process in the near future. If there's anyone out there that has gone through this and would like to add their comments, please do.

Bone Pain - the Neupogen increases the creation of the t-cells that you're going to harvest. These t-cells are created in the bone marrow. So imagine if you did 10 push ups a day then you'd feel pretty good and you'd be able to do 10, perhaps 20, without skipping a beat. Now today, and the next five days, you need to do 100 pushups a day. You can imagine the kind of pain you'd feel - and that's what's going on in your biggest bone marrow locations: hips, legs, chest, upper arms. I hadn't felt this till the last day of the neupogen shots and it was like having a crick in your back and you couldn't lay down or sit; and standing up, after awhile, would make you sore.

The harvesting catheter - the catheter used for the harvesting is more a temporary insertion as we'll only need it for a few days. If I was doing a transplant immediately after then they may have put in a medi-port or porta-cath (I can't confirm that, you'd need to confirm w/ your doctor). As seen in the posted pics, this piece is long. The doctor warned me of a potential for pain in my shoulder, behind the catheter. I haven't felt that but I have felt something similar. I can literally feel the catheter in my body. I am crossed as to whether or not I should have viewed the xray pic I put up showing the catheter placement. If I wouldn't have known I may have been better off. Having said that, knowing let me know it wasn't something bizarre happening to me when I laid down at night.

As mentioned previously, the catheter is flexible but not soft. So as you move your body, it's putting pressure internally which can cause some pain. I'm not playing any sports and I've been sick all weekend so I've not been doing anything strenuous. However, what I've noticed, is two things:
1) dull pain - I feel the dull pain in my shoulder, behind the cath and I can sometimes feel it in my chest on the other side.
2) when I lay down at night it takes a good 15-20 minutes for everything to 'settle' and allow me to lay down. It feels like something is out of sorts and you may need to stand up, stretch about at the shoulders and then lay back down. The vicadin didn't seem to help this much but I think everyone reacts differently to those drugs.

Again, the purpose of this post is for anyone that has the disease and is going through this. Sometimes the explanations you get don't full prepare you for what really happens. I hope this helps and if you're going through it as well, please put in a comment with your experiences.

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