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  • Tara Darby Rasheta

Shine Bright Like a Neulasta


My guess is that you've seen the commercial for Neulasta Onpro. If not, you probably don't watch much television. In that case, good for you. But if you have seen it, then you probably know what I'm talking about. It's the giant sticker contraption that basically glues to your body and injects you with a medicine called Pegfilgrastima to boost up your white blood cell count during chemotherapy. The wearable device automatically distributes the meds about 27 hours post-chemo. In the commercial you watch the female patient/model walk around her posh SoCal home, being consoled by her handsome boyfriend/hubby/partner and relaxing in her fancy digs as she heals. The actors are great, but I can't help but note that the last two female actors have had full heads of gorgeous, luscious hair (I'm having major hair envy these days).

Mind you, this is a drug for cancer patients. Why not use a bald model? I happen to know one who has a fairly open schedule these days.

The point of the injectable sticker (which runs about 5k-6k a pop, thankfully it is covered by my insurance) is to save the patient an extra trip to the cancer center for a shot the day after chemo. As a simple consumer watching TV, I didn't understand the significance. But now, as a cancer patient, I can definitely see the value. Each time I sit in the chemotherapy room I overhear conversations from nearby patients and it turns out many of them must travel from out-of-town to receive their treatment. I'm thankful that as a local Dallasite there are so many top-rated medical facilities right at my finger tips.


The Texas Oncology-Presbyterian Cancer Center is beautiful, modern, state-of-the-art and has provided such high quality care for me. I truly cannot say enough kind and complimentary things about Dr. Minal Barve and her caring staff. I am blessed that it is literally right up the road, but many other patients are not so lucky. As I crunch the numbers to keep my little family afloat during this challenging season in our lives (I say "our lives" because my husband and girls are certainly not immune to the disruption breast cancer has caused), I'm glad that we aren't also having to factor in hotel lodging, mileage or flights, an extra stay in town to get a quick shot, and more time off from work. I had chemo yesterday, so today my on-body shot will occur around 5:30 pm and will be done by 6:15 pm. By then I will already be in the throes of a busy evening routine with Darby and Malone. When I rock my children to bed tonight, rather than rushing home from the cancer center, that's when I will be most grateful for my Neulasta Onpro.

This is the fifth time I've had to wear one, so you can basically call me an "on-pro."

I remember the first time we were sent home with one. It was evening time and my husband and I we nervously waiting in bed for the device to start injecting me. I noticed some lights blinking and it appeared to be coming from the window. I got up to check it out. We live on a busy street and even with the blinds closed I can often see if there are police lights or a firetruck outside. Oddly, there was no accident, no patrol cars. I climbed back into bed, but noticed the flashing lights again. This time I was truly perplexed and asked my husband to check it out. He got up from bed, saw nothing out the window and then proclaimed that it was me blinking. He was right! It was my giant sticker blinking green, like a beacon in the night signaling to us that though I had left the hospital hours before my treatment was still active. That felt good. So I too will shine bright like a Neulasta and keep blinking with progress, positivity and hope.



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