Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Art's Office and The White Blood Cell Maker

Every day of his "off" chemo week, Art goes to the treatment center to have his white and red blood cell count measured and to have his PICC line dressing changed. The chair is where he reigns for the 30 minutes of procedure. The white blood cell count must be above a certain number in order to insure he can do chemo the following week. Every Wednesday during this "off" week, his PICC line dressing is changed. The PICC line is the line inserted into the inside of his arm where the chemo goes. The line is 17" long ending in his superior vena cava.

In his hand, he holds Nuprigen, a drug that increases the growth of white blood cells. It makes his back ache intensely but it keeps him on schedule. Becuase it does not have any preservatives in it, it is kept in the refrideragtor and must be warmed by hand before it is put into a needle and injected into his arm. If it is not warmed, I have been informed, it stings like hell. He gets Nuprigen shots about every other day becuase the chemo all but eliminates his ability to make white blood cells, the great germ fighters.

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