« Still pregnant | Main | She used to seem so sane »

04/10/2003

CAUTION: CHEMOTHERAPY!

After a quick detour for still more bloodwork, I went in today for the aforementioned methotrexate injection. Now, methotrexate works by interfering with rapidly growing and dividing cells — i.e., an embryo. Or a tumor.

That's right. Methotrexate is used to treat cancer. The pharmacy gives you the medicine in this big lightproof bag with fluorescent stickers all over it: "CAUTION: CHEMOTHERAPY!" and "DO NOT HANDLE WITHOUT PROTECTIVE CLOTHING." It makes you want to use tongs and gloves just to carry the bag back up to the nurse (who then dons a disposable gown, gloves, and fetching plastic cap, of course).

It seems like a scary drug, but apparently it's very successful in treating unruptured ectopic pregnancies. About one patient in 20 will still require surgery, but I have no intention of being among those ruptured few.

The injection itself was uneventful. I was given a stern talking-to about the absolute necessity of follow-up bloodwork on a weekly basis, and a long list of things I must not do:

  1. Drink. Methotrexate screws up your liver, so just when you need it most, alcohol is forbidden.

  2. Consume dark, leafy green vegetables. Folic acid impairs the efficacy of the methotrexate.

  3. Drink orange juice. OJ is heavily fortified with folic acid, so see above.

  4. Have marital relations. I must not be jostled, lest we free the embryonic beast within.

  5. Spend time in the sun. Methotrexate makes you susceptible to really bad sunburn.

  6. Be far away from a phone. I guess that's in case the creepy little thing ruptures and I need to dial 911 to bellow, "THAR SHE BLOWS!"

Comments