Human Pincushion (Herceptin #3/14)

It’s almost like adjuvant therapy is a zero sum game.  For the 12 weeks of Taxol + Herceptin, I had to deal with 2 needle sticks every single week — one for the blood test and one for the drug infusion.

Now that I no longer need blood tests and go in for Herceptin infusions just once every three weeks, I should only need one needle per three weeks.  However, and that’s a big however, it doesn’t seem to be panning out that way.

Herceptin only infusion #1 (1/17) — The nurse took three needles to successfully anchor one in a vein.

Herceptin infusion #2 (2/8) — A different nurse also tried twice unsuccessfully before nailing a vein (three total).

Today’s Herceptin — Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR needle sticks.  In the words of the great Charlie Brown:  “Arrrrrrrgh!”

The nurses have been apologetic and recused themselves after two failures.  The second (and ultimately successful) nurse from today’s appointment says that sometimes chemo will render patients’ veins brittle.  Fortunately, she also said this is typically a temporary condition.

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