Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30, 2009


It is 4:30 and I wide-awake as Tuesday was my dex day. I end up watching TV and Internet surfing. I should sleep ok tonight and be fully rested by Thursday.

Well it has been 6 months since my official diagnosis on March 30, 2009. I first went to the family doc on February 23; but testing and the bone marrow biospy took several weeks.

I still do not have the results of the latest M-spike, Igg, Kappa LC blood tests that were collected on September 23.

I am feeling generally ok except for weakness in the legs and will try and start walking again today. Last year in late August, I spent a week hiking at high altitudes in the Tetons willout any difficulty; a year later, I waddled like a duck. However, with being off Velcade for 2 1/2 months, the neuropathy has diminished and my walking is improved; but still a long way to go.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

September 24, 2009

I went to see the O/H yesterday. CBC bloodwork was within the normal range; but generally at the lower end of normal. The results of Igg, M-spike, and Kappa LC should be forthcoming in a couple of days.

I have been off velcade since July 11; but have continued to take Dexamethsome (10 mg/week). Neuropathy has lessened somewhat since last post and it is easier to walk.

The general plan is that if Igg, M-spike, and Kappa LC drop, I will stay off velcade; if these parameters stay about the same or increase, I will go back on velcade; but a reduced rate. IV Infusions on days 1 and 8 and then restart on day 22; with monitoring every on day 22.

Zometa will continue on monthly basis; I generally have achey bones 2-3 days after zometa; but that appears the only side effect.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11,2009

When I came down with MM, there were other minor miscellaneous medical issues that I needed to address:

DRY MOUTH: I now have my teeth professionally cleaned once every three months and use Biotene toothpaste, mouthwash, and a gel to keep gums wet. This stuff is expensive; however, if it prevents a problem on down the line, then it is worth it. I also brush several times during the day. So far, no problems.

MINOR ACHES AND PAINS: Lately, my legs have been achey and I still have hot and cold feet from the neuropathy. My physician gave me a prescription for Tramadol, which is a low-level narcotic, about one step above Tylenol. Tramadol keeps the edge off the minor aches and pains and helps me sleep at night.

VISION: I had my eyes checked by a retina specialist: I have minor cataracts; but I will deal with this later.

MINOR INFECTIONS: I developed a minor infection of the testes and the urologist gave me a prescription for Ciproflaxin (which is free). If I hadn't had MM, I probably would have just let this go; but I am concerned than my inmunce system, which is still ok, might weaken and a lingering minor infection could be a problem.

NEUROPATHY: Neuropathy in feet is handled by an over-the-counter sports cream and hot soaky baths.

CONSTIPATION: Prior to going on chemo, I was rarely constipated (perhaps every other year or so); now I use a stool softener, when I am on chemo or Zometa. This seems to prevent problems.

FLU: Flu shots (not swine flu) will be available here on October 1 and I will get the shot (about $25.00) on that day. I had some bad bouts with the flu back in the past; but once I started taking flu shots, I haven't had the flu.

I have now been off chemo for two months now and neuropathy is lessening; it is my general impression (quite unscientific) that it takes about one month of no chemo to offset one velcade cycle.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1, 2009

I have received the results of 8/25/2009 lab work. WBC = 6.10 (ok); hemoglobin = 16.3 (ok); hematocrit = 45.7 (ok); platelet count = 297 (ok); RBC 4.77 (ok); calcium in blood = 9.8 (ok); creatinine = 0.89 (ok).

Igg = 1575 (high, up from 1462 on 7/28/2009); M-spike = 1.1 (down from 1.2 on 7/28/2009); Kappa LC =27.4 (about the same as 26.5 on 7/18/2009). Kappa/Lamba ratio, however, has improved to 17.13. In summary after 6-weeks without chemo, the lab values have not changed significantly and I will continue for another month just taking the dexamethsome pills once a week. I restarted Zometa today and will continue on a once a month basis for the next two months.

Keeping off the Velcade for anothe month should allow the neuropathy to improve; there has been a noticeable improvement over the last two weeks; hopefully I can expect similar improvement in the future.

Achy legs, knees, ankles, and leg weakness continue to be the only symptoms of my mm.