Injections in tummy for low WBC help!!!!

Hi ladies, I was told yesterday that I can’t have my FEC2 cos my neutropins are to low and they are talking about having to give me injections into the belly. I have a needle phobia and am handling all the needles we have normally, but to do it myself or hubby as he has offered is scaring me. Please can you guys give me your experiences as when I have been worried before readIng how you are dealing with it is always a big help. Thanks Ruth xx

hi

i have had the injections all the way through just as a precautionary measure. i do them myself, i know you can get the nurse in but didnt fancy hanging aroumd waiting plus that made it more of a big deal. although not the most pleasant thing its really not hard, in fact i was so busy worrying and asking my mum if i was holding it straight enough it popped in without me knowing!

the SEs arent nice. check with your nurse, but i take ibuprofen to take away the pain. it feels a bit like internal sun burn but only when pressure is applied. the first time i had pulsing from my hips, like contractions! but painkillers sorted it, it was more worrying cos noone had warned me.

i now do it at night hoping that i sleep thru the worst bit. on the plus side i havent missed any chemo (next one 5) and our household was recently invaded by a nasty cold of which i suffered the least.

hope this helps. x

Hi,
My OH did them for me, but I’m sure I could have done them myself. You get pre-loaded syringes and it is easy to do. I found them to be virtually painless and I didn’t have any aches and pains as a result of having them - slight lower back ache for a couple of days with the first batch - nothing with the others.
For me the worst bit was psyching myself up for the first one.

Hope it is as easy for you. Certainly better than being in hosp with neutropenic sepsis.

Stella xx

I had these all the way through chemo, done by a district nurse. I actually found it less hassle that way - the nurse was only there for a couple of minutes and I wasn’t spending the day worrying and procrastinating about injecting myself.
Lilac x

I had a huge needle phobia and found the whole thing very stressful. I had a district nurse come every day, and it was a big physiological drain on top of all the other invasive treatments we go through. It doesn’t actually hurt, but for those of us with needle phobias we know that…! It did give me terrible bone aches though.

After two rounds I decided to have a massive diet change and said NO to the injections against my onc wishes. For the following (my last three) chemos my wbc was over 5. I even had my mx only 14 days after my last chemo as my wbc was up to 3.5. The look on my oncs face was priceless when he asked me three times if I had actually had the injections when my wbc was 5.5. (Just to note, my wbc plummeted after my very first chemo, even though I was reasonably young and healthy)

For me changing my diet (super, super healthy), was easier and had far better ‘side effect’s’ than the dreaded injections.

I’m having these too, tip, get them out of the fridge for a good half hour before using them. The needle is so thin it doesn’t hurt! I have some aches & pains but the Tax does that too bit brufen and paracetamol sorts it. Blood tests are lots worse in my opinion.

i do them my self, but mine are the type that has to be mixed first. Get the district nurse to do them for you if you don’t like needles. That way you don’t have to look, plus it’s quite reassuring having someone who can give you advice if your worried about anything. The injections have to be done at about the same time each day ( about 1 hour margin) so there woundn’t be too much waiting around for nurse.

Good luck x

HI there, really good advice to get them out the fridge early - I forgot once and did notice the difference. I didn’t fancy doing them myself so got the DN in - and you know what the SE’s for me were worth it - cos I never missed a chemo again after I started on these injections. By the way I think they can give them anywhere fatty not just tummy but I may be wrong, bw Nicola

How did you get these injections straight away - does it depend on your first blood test before you start chemo or do you only get offered them after you have had a chemo session and have a low white blood cell count. My biggest fear for chemo ( not started yet - 2 weeks away )is getting an infection, Melx

Hi,

My FEC 2 was delayed too and I now have an injection. Only 1 though and it’s given the day after chemo. I did it myself but think I messed it up and didn’t give myself the full dose. I will be asking for DN to do it next time in case I mess it up again.
Nicola- it’s really good to hear that you didn’t miss any chemo’s after the injections were given. I hope taht happens to me.
Do you think the injections give us a bit more protection from infections?

Lisa

I got my injections after hospital admission for infection related to low WBC/immunity. I have the NGOs one 24 hrs post chemo, this one is really expensive, but cheaper than a hospital admission. Different places vary as to when/ which drug you get. My WBC’s have been fine since but my rbc’s still low, so get breathless when walking too fast. Honestly, the injection is not bad at all try not to worry about it too much.

The injections must help as they keep the WBC up and they’re the soldiers that fight infections.

Mine were given without me even asking - not sure if it’s because i have a 6yr old who is more likely to bring infections home.

Worth an ask.

Yes, it definitely does protect you from infections as your white cells fight infection and this encourages your bone marrow to produce more (hence the bone aches). I have it too (the single jab) as I had a really nasty infection after FEC1 and then my white count dropped very low after FEC3.

If you just have one jab it’s probably Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) which is very effective but also horrendously expensive (anywhere between £630 - £1000 per jab depending on where you look!) so some areas don’t like to give it unless you really need it and will prescribe filgrastim instead. That has to be injected every day for a number of days and is a lot cheaper but is less effective as it’s excreted from the body quite quickly which the peg version isn’t.

If you’ve got to have it and don’t think you could cope with daily injections then you should push for the pegfilgrastim version but in the end finances might be the deciding factor. However, I’m sure even the cost of the one-off jab would be less than having to admit you to hospital for a few days because of an infection or too low a white cell count!

Jane xxx

Thanks SCACO and Jane,

I’m paranoid about picking up an infection since the stay in the hospital. Feel a bit happier now (she says as she awaits a phone call from friend to confirm if she’s still ill and can’t therefore meet for lunch!

Lisa

I did them myself, and it was easy (I was getting 10 between each cycle, and coudln’t facing trudging along to the hospital for them). holding ice cubes or a cold coke can over teh spot for few minutes before means it is completely numb - if you are scared of needles why not get OH o do it and look away.

As my onc said ‘they do what is says on the tin’ - they really work, so its worth having them.

Sarah

PS - I had Neulasta, starting with 3 and by last cycle ended up with 10 - must have cost a fortune!
SArah

I had the one given the day after chemo. Don’t ‘mind’ needles as such but too much of a scaredy cat to give one to myself or get OH to do it. Rather than wait in for district nurse, I arranged to go up to hospital for them to do it. Took an hour out of my day but I preferred it like that.

I had been admitted after my first chemo with no neutrophils so from the 2nd one onwards, I had the jab rather than reduce the dose. No issues after that so it definitely worked. I do understand that not everywhere does this - again it’s a bit of a cost issue but think they regard it round here as a smaller cost upfront when compared with having to admit patient to hospital.

Liz

Hi
I had a course or 7 on each cycle of FEC, the nurse did them. I was too much of a chicken to do them myself. Also it gave me a chance to talk about any Ses I had with chemo. This made ses more managable as i was given advice there and then.
x sarah

Hiya
I have tummy injections days 5-9because my wbc count was too low and put FEC2 back a week. I am a needle coward so i had them done by the district nurse and found that worked perfectly for me. I had 3 different nurses but they were all nice and were quite happy to let me get comfy on my settee while they did the deed. It didn’t hurt at all (I looked away) and I haven’t had any se’s. I was very anxious prior to the first one but I’m fine about them now.

best wishes all x

Thanks guys it’s been really helpful reading your posts, seems like a common thing to happen, and if it means I get to the end of the chemo road without missing appointments then that must be a plus.
Thanks again Ruth x