Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 23, 2009

I started chemo with Velcade + dex on 4/13/2009. Prior to starting chemo my numbers were Igg = 3982, M-spike = 2.7, and Kappa LC = 96. After the first cycle, the numbers dropped as follows; Igg = 2176, M-spike = 1.9, and Kappa LC = 41. After the second cycle, the numbers dropped still further to Igg = 1623, M-spike = 1.22, and Kappa LC = 30.43. After the cycle, the numbers dropped still further and I was happy as clam: Igg = 1555, M-spike = 0.9, and Kappa LC = 30.

Up until this point I considered chemo as a "walk in the park"; but with cycle #4 ,which began on June 29, all hell broke loose. During this cycle I began to experience significant neuropathy, particularly in my feet. Also once the cycle was completed, I broke out in rash that covered my arms and legs. Because of the neuropathy and the rash, cycle #5 was cancelled.

A revisit to my O/H in late July had the following numbers: Igg = 1462, M-spike = 1.2, and Kappa LC = 26.42. Cycle #5 was continued to be held abeyance.

My next scheduled appointment is for August 25; this will be about 6 weeks since my last chemo; the rash has gone away but the neuropathy remains. I will keep you up to date regarding my course of treatment from this point on.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August 16, 2009

At my first visit to the O/H, my initial blood work on March 20 was as follows: CBC's were all in normal range as were kidney functions. Igg was 3982, M-spike was 2.7, and Kappa LC was 96. Not good but not that bad. A total x-ray bone scan was also done that same with only only one small small spot on my right upper arm where there was a lesion; there also were some areas on my spine and hips where there were vague suggestions of lesions. Because the lesion was relatively small, the O/H recommended treatment via Zometa in lieu of radiation.

The first post-diagnosis O/H visit was the next day; March 31. The recommended course of treatment was Zometa, once a month; chemo (Velcade + anti-nausea+dexamethasome) as an IV with a three week cycle (M and Th of weeks 1 and 2; and then 1 week off); and 10 mg of dexamethasome (as a pill) once a week. The Zometa IV was started three days later on April 2; the initial Velcade, however, was postponed until April 13 because of some un-related personal matters.

August 15, 2009

Yesterday was a crappy day; didn't feel good and my wife and I cancelled plans for going out for dinner. Today seems better; and we will try and go out tonight.

Yesterday, I noted that the time-frame from my initial doctor visit to diagnosis was 5 weeks. My O/H also gives me my CBC (basic blood work) within 1/4 hour of the blood being drawn. So far I have been impressed with the professionalism of the O/H office. Blood work that has to sent to out-of-town laboratory takes about 5-7 working days; but again this is relatively quick.

While I will describe my chemo in later posts; overall, the actual IV process is simple and straight-forward. I didn't want a port in my chest and elected to have IV, switiching arms back and forth (left on day #1 and right on day #2, etc.). This, so far, has worked well with no complications.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Myeloma Dawg

Hello: My name is Bill and I have Myeloma and I live in Florida. I started this blog mainly as a means of sharing information of my illness with others in the hopes that they can share information with me. As you probably can tell from the use of the word "dawg" that I graduated from the University of Georgia, albeit back in 1963.

Up until I was diagnosed with myeloma, my health was excellent, if anything it was super-excellent.

The very first symptom came last Thanksgiving (2008) when I felt tired after walking with my granddaughters in the north Georgia mountains. I just assumed I was out-of-shape and needed to start exercising. The tired feeling went away quickly and that was that. In January, my wife and I went on cruise and there were some times that I stepped on her feet while dancing; this I just assumed was just due to the ship slightly rocking. In February, I began having slight balance problems and assumed that I needed a better pair of shoes. Basically, it felt that I was always walking on a mattress; just a soft cushy feeling. Also I noticed that throughout January and early February, my legs were progressively becoming weaker.

On February 23, on impulse, I visited my family physician and discussed my gait/leg weakness problem with her. She, at that point, ordered a bunch of blood, urine, and x-rays. The testing went on for several weeks; but there were no true delays; a test would be run; the results would come back a few days later; and some additional tests would be run. On March 16, she notified me that I had abnormal amounts of protein in my urine and that my Igg level was high (about 3750 mg/dl) and that she recommended that I schedule an appointment with a oncologist/hematologist (O/H). This was done: and I had my first appointment was four days later on March 23, where additional blood and urine testing was done, as O/H suspected myeloma. The quickest way to confirm myeloma, however, would be to do a bone marrow biopsy. Again this was quickly done, and the test was done the following Wednesday, March 25. On Monday evening (March 30), the O/H called me to tell that there were 30-35 percent cancer cells in the marrow and myeloma was confirmed.

From start to finish, it only took 5 weeks from my initial doctor visit to diagnosis. None of the testing was difficult or troublesome. I had heard that a bone marrow biopsy was painful; mine was not; and after the procedure I went on a mini-vacation to the beach.