Thursday, November 14, 2013


I have two pharmacies I frequent nowadays.  The pharmacy at my hospital, and then the Walgreens right by my house.  In fact, I know both pharmacists pretty well.  You should get to know your pharmacist, too. 

My pharmacist at Walgreens saw me a few times a week most of the summer.  I was getting chemo treatments M-F, everyday, and depending on how I felt or what I needed, I was in there.  Sometimes I needed potassium pills, sometimes I needed more tape to cover my catheter when I showered, sometimes, I just needed to walk around and buy a candy bar before heading to chemo.  Whatever it was, they saw me pretty often. Still do, in fact.  I go there weekly...even just for candy if I am in the mood.
My pharmacist at Walgreens asked me one day what type of cancer I had.  I told him, APL, which is a subtype of AML, he told me his wife was battling AML, too.  He has become a rock for me, whether he knows it or not.  He always asks how I am doing, which is nice.  We have shared stories of some drugs that his wife and I have both taken (and their super gross side effects).  I have gained a trust for him over the course of this year, and I depend on his opinion and expertise.
Get to know your pharmacist.  Even if you get some drugs at one place and some drugs at another (like I do), bring all the meds in and let them have a record of what you are taking, so they can let you know of interactions or side effects.  Even though I am in remission, I take lots of pills...multiple times a day.  I will for this next year, and I need to worry every time someone prescribes me an antibiotic or any other med for that matter.  I need to know this won't cause an issue with my methotrexate or my tretinoin or anything else I take.  The pharmacist can help you with this.  To me, my pharmacist feels like extra insurance.  He sees what I am taking and can tell me if its ok to take all these meds together or not.  He can also let me know what side effects I can expect, and maybe hints about taking the meds (with food, before bed, without food, etc).  The pharmacist is there for you.  Take advantage of him/her... let them help you!

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