So I posted that message to Craigslist, trying to find a home for the extra IFN in my injection pens. I had he best of intentions, but boy was I not thinking. Here are a couple of the 10 responses:
Hi, Your heart is in the right place, but the infection risk of someone else using your partially used pens is HUGE!!!!!! Please take the ad down ASAP before some less informed actually takes you up on your generous offer. I would hate to flag you, no medications to be listed as per craigslist rules, I will trust you to do the right thing. I work in healthcare and an fully aware of the cost of this stuff. Please don’t put someone else at risk. Great idea, but there has to be another way to help folks. Lobbying in albany or DC or contact local politicians to force Govt to further subsidize these meds would be a great start. Best of luck to you. Happy thanksgiving!
I don’t need the interferon, but I think you are terrific. Have you asked your doctor if there is a patient that might could benefit? All the best to you! Happy Healing and Happy Thanksgiving. You are a good soul.
I admire your generosity, but if this stuff is in a syringe (self injection pen??) it would not be wise for more than one person to use it. If I am mistaken please forgive me. I am sure you mean well. G-47
Very, very nice and thoughtful.
Hope you get better and Happy Thanksgiving.
So of course the Hep-C patients would be well versed in the nuances of sharing needles, sterility of needles, etc. And me, the silly Melanoma patient is clueless.
I freaked out when I realized this. I had a total pins and needles attack. So fucked up the thought that my attempt to help someone could make them worse. Fuck, what a mind trip.
Back when I found out I would be injecting my dear friend KM was all excited to teach me how to hit a vein (no he’s not a nurse, no he doesn’t hit veins anymore) but was dissapointed when he found out that all I had to do was jab it in and press the plunger. The things that IV drug users know that come in handy.
So every few days my side effects change. For a while it was aches and pains, then we seemed to get that under control. Then it was the pins and needles, which are still my number one most awful side effect (bad episodes each of the last three days). But I have it more under control. For a while I couldn’t eat because of the lesions on my tongue, and for two days I even had trouble talking it was so bad. Then it was the lesions on my hands, which are easing off (i put vinegar on them). And the “sore bottom” which I soak as often as i can.
The latest are my eyes. The skin around my eyes is simply falling off. Flaking off in painful chunks. I have cuts/lesions at the creases and folds below my eyes. And crazy white flaky skin. It hurts, and putting moisturizer on it seems to make it hurt more (temporarily) and not really solve the problem. But if any of this is a pattern to be repeated, the eyes will be better by next week, and it will be something new.
KMs friend Roman was by. We were exchanging greetings and I asked him if he knew what was going on with me and the cancer. And he replied “yeah, so how is that going?” as if it was a new project or a new camera or car or something. It was both awkward and funny. We all laughed, but it was nervous laughter. And then KM gave him shit afterward.
I am 14 weeks into a 48 week Interferon (Intron A) regimen for Stage III Melanoma Cancer. I get a monthly supply of IFN in 4 self injection needle pens. My dosage is 20 MIU, there are approximately 75 MIU per pen, which leaves approximately 13-15 MIU in each pen after I am done with it.
This stuff costs a bloody fortune, but my insurance covers it. Each of those pens w/ the 13-15 MIU is probably “worth” $500. And I have 14 of them right now, and a new one every week. So that’s $7500 of IFN.
Obviously, it is not enough for a full course for a Melanoma patient (10 MIU/m^2), but would work fine for a hepatitis c patient, or a MS patient (3 MIU/m^2). Though to be honest, I’m not sure what the differences are in the brands/variants of Interferon Alpha.
I am hoping to find an IFN requiring patient who does not have the good fortune of having health insurance. I don’t want payment. I just want these insanely expensive drugs to help save someone’s life.
The good news for today is that I didn’t have any pins and needles. I stayed inside most of the day. The book is done. And I didn’t do any public speaking. And I was chill, and chilled.
The bad news is that my body continues to fall apart. I woke up with a swollen something-or-other in my right cheek. It is right above the back of my jawbone. It feels like it is 10mm in diameter, but its probably smaller. I have a corresponding lesion on my right side of my tongue. I think I have a lesion in my left nostril.
And most humiliatingly, I have a large mole on my ass that is raw all of a sudden. It hurts really bad. It seems almost like it is bleeding or something. My Dermatologist has checked it several times and cleared it each time. So I’m not worried that it is a Melanoma. But it hurts, and I worry about my ability to heal. And the worst part is that I can’t see it. I tried taking pictures, but that didn’t really work. Try aiming a point and shoot camera in macro mode at your ass really close up and try to get results… it doesn’t work very well!