The on-going, first-hand tale of a journey through medical oncology... and what happens after.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Big Pharma...

OK - in keeping with the moving things along theme, there are two physical residuals from the second lost year. The first is my power port. It is still implanted in my upper left chest wall, ready to deliver any kind of wonderful drug therapy directly into my heart. My oncologist said that I could have it removed any time I wanted, but that if there was another recurrence I would need to get another one put it. And it is still useful for the CT scans. And it does not hurt or bother me in any physical sense. But it is a constant emotional reminder of severe yuckiness... and I am of mixed thoughts on the value of its presence. Let's just say that the jury is out on whether it is staying or going, and that I will revisit this thinking after my next CT scan in April.

The second residual is this pharmacopeia that remains from my dance with the chemicals... pain relief, anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, insomnia, mucle-relaxants, steroids, anti-fungals, mouth sore rinse, anti-heartburn, stool softeners, and even body wash that does not require water. It is amazing what kind of chemical flotsam remains after the chemotherapy ship sails into another port. And I am truly unsure what the proper disposal mechanism should be... any ideas?



pauline said...

Hi Ed,

I'm glad you are blogging about your experiences. Pretty tough deal. As a retired RN I can tell you that the out-dates on meds are an arbitrary number and most medical people keep and use meds that are five or more years out-dated. That said, you may want to consider hanging on to them. Never know when a stool softener might come in handy.

But if they are a negative reminder and you want shut of them, we always used to flush them down the toilet. Or if you don't like that you could ask your pharmacist if they can help you out. But seriously, home health nurses flush meds all the time.

Wishing you the best, namaste right back,

PJ, Minnesota said...

Hi, Ed and Pauline,
I really don't like the idea of flushing medications, which eventually end up as traces in our drinking water. Our local recycling center has one day every 6 months where they will collect unused medication. What they do after that, I do not know. (Hopefully they don't flush 'em.) One of my friends who had cancer also had a huge basket of assorted pills leftover, though I don't know what she ever did with it. Too bad the unexpired ones could not be donated to someone in need. Just a thought, and maybe not a good one, but I hate to waste good stuff.
Ed, I hope you're doing well!

PN said...

Hello Ed,
Sending a few positive thoughts your way and wishing you a Happy St. Patrick's Day! PN

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed,

Our local pharmacy has a huge recycle bin inside the store. Only certain meds can go in them and they could tell you which ones. You can also mix the medication in with used coffee grounds and then put them in the garbage. i would get the pills a little wet first and then mix them with the grounds.

I hope this helps. D

Jeanne Sather said...

Hi Ed--I wrote quite a bit about recycling drugs and drug repositories several years ago.

Unfortunately, the drug repository idea never really got off the ground.

Some of these drugs are so expensive that it seems like a crime to just toss them--and I agree that you shouldn't flush them. Occasionally I hear of a cancer patient passing unneeded drugs to another patient, but that of course is illegal.

Sigh. I really thought that drug repositories were a good idea.


sarah said...

How are you doing?