Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31, 2005

Happy New Year to Everyone:

Yesterday was dex day; so I was up all night; but watched the late Nebraska-Washington bowl game.

When you take steroids such as dex, you have to worry about glaucoma; had my checkup today; everything ok, will go back in 6 months. I have a slight infection in my gum; no pain but I suspect that a root canal may be in order. Will see dentist on Monday.
If I do need dental work, I will need to postpone January's Zometa infusion.

Also will see O/H and get the results of Mondays lab work (it takes about 4 working days to get M-spike, Igg, Kappa LC, etc.). Other than dex, I have been of chemo for 6 months. If the cancer numbers have gone up, then I guess I am back on Velcade again. Also I will start pursuing a stem cell transplant.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 23, 2010

We are back from our cruise; had a good time and was able to do some snorkeling at Roatan. Probably ate too much as I weigh 5 pounds more now than when I left.

Had my Zometa treatement last Tuesday; WBCs were a little low; but everything else was ok. Today is dex day so I doubt I will sleep tonight.

I go and see the H/O on Monday after New Years. At that time, I will know whether I can stay off chemo for another month.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 4, 2010

Today is dex day again; so I am still up and its 1:30 in the morning. Dex was common when I was UGA back in the 60s. Students would take a pill and stay up all night studying. Generally the day I take dex (usually at about 8:00 am), I feel quite good and productive. The difficulty with dex is that my brain keeps working when I lay down and try to go to sleep.

This past Tuesday, I went to see my O/H. My numbers were as follows: WBC = 3.6; but my neutrophils were good so I am not overly susceptible to infection. Igg is 1558, but this is only 4 over normal. M-spike was 1.2, which is an increase over last months 1.1; however for the two proceeding months it was 1.2. Glucose, calcium, and total protein were normal. Kappa LC were 2.34 and went up slightly from last month but are down from the three previous months. Overall the Myeloma markers went up some but not that much from earlier in the late summer and early fall. I have now been off Velcade for 5 months now. Because there was no marked deterioration in my cancer numbers, I in consultation with my O/H decided to wait another month (actually 6 weeks) before making the decision to go back on chemo. During the spring and early summer, I took Velcade once per week and the cancer numbers stabilized with Igg being in the high normal range, M-spike at 1.1 and the Kappa LC being about 2.6-2.8. These numbers are not that far different than my most recent numbers. I guess I'm inclined to believe that if I go back on Velcade I will not achieve much improvement; nevertheless with these values I can live a more or less normal life. The neuropathy has lessened over the past 5 months; but it is still there.

My wife and I decided to take a cruise starting December 11, 2010, so I will be out of pocket for a while and not blogging.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 20, 2010

Thursday was Zometa day; labs were slow so I ended up spending almost 3 hours at the infusion center. Only bad lab was WBC, which was 3.7 instead of 4.0. No reaction to the Zometa. Friday was dex day with 10 mg. It's 3:30 am Sat. morning and I am still awake. Will need Ambien tonight but after that I will be ok until next dex day (next Friday).

Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5, 2010

Today is dex day; will probably be up all night; but I do have a DVD so I can watch a movie tonight; also have some project work that will keep me busy for a few hours.

I have read many of the other blogs and it seems that most initial symptoms are pain (mainly back pain), the unexplained breaking of bones, or being very tired. I had none of these.

My initial symptom was a gait and balance issue; I felt as if I was forever walking on a giant mattress. That's all. My primary care physician just tested for everything and in 5 weeks, MM was confirmed. To date, I have never had any pain; but the being tired symptom did come on after the initial visit to the primary care physician.

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010

Went to see the H/O today; lab results were better than last month; so we will hold chemo off for another month. The plan continues to be that if lab results worsen, then I will schedule a stem cell transplant.

Will continue on Zometa through March of 2011 (24 total infusions); after that infusions will probably drop to 1 every 2-3 months.

Here are the labs: WBC 4.70 up from 4.2 from October 19; Hemoglobin 15.2 up from 14.9; platelets 264 down from 273; and RBC 4.75 up from 467. All are in the normal range.

IGG was 1459 down from 1506 on September 17(still in normal range); IGA and IGM were both up slightly (still below normal but improving since September 17); M-spike was 1.1 down from 1.2; Kappa LC was 2.27 down from 2.68; Lamba LC was 0.17 up from 0.10 (good) and the Kappa/Lamba ratio was down from 26.80.

Had my flu shot on the 16th and my teeth cleaned on 12th; trying to stay healthy.

Today is dex day so I probably won't sleep tonight. I have learned to deal with this so its not that big a problem.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 19, 2010

Had my monthly Zometa infusion today; the infusion center was slow; spent 2 1/2 hrs there from start to finish. Creatine was .9, WBC was 4.2, HG was 14.9, platelets were 273, abd RBCs were 4.67. All good.

Friday, October 8, 2010

October 8, 2010

Today is dex day; 10 mg in the morning. Dex makes me feel good during the day; but I probably won't sleep tonight. However, tomorrow I will take an Ambien and sleep quite well. This is my pattern now, stay up all night on dex and then get a good night's sleep the next. The dosage that I take is low and so far manageable.

I got my second check from AFLAC on Monday. It covered a years worth of chemo and 12radiation treatments. The AFLAC payments now exceed all my premium payments going back to 1986 and all of my non-insurance covered medical payments. In other words, I have made a profit off my myeloma.

We have made a reservation for a two night stay in St. Augustine next week; the weather in Florida is nice now (low 80s in the day) and walks on the beach will be quite enjoyable.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 22, 2010

Had my monthly Zometa infusion yesterday; no big deal. When I first stated taking Zometa, I had numerous aches and pains; but these no longer occur.

I also got last week's (9/17/2010) lab results: Igg up to 1506 mg/dl from 1503; M-spike stayed the same at 1.2 g/dl; and Kappa LC increased to 2.68 mg/dl from 2.55. Overall, very litle change. At this point, I'm inclined to stay off chemo for another month.

I feel reasonably good.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 16, 2010

Last Tuesday I drove over to Crescent Beach and walked in the surf; the weather was nice and the beach was almost empty. Stopped off on the way home for beer and shrimp. Very thankful that I can do day trips by myself.

Had the clinic send me a copy of all my treatment charges (doesn't include physician's charges) from Sept 1, 2009 thru August 31, 2010. They total almost $225,000; Medicare, however, doesn't pay this rate. My total cost was only $500. I
also have a cancer policy; will submit it this weekend. Probably will turn out that I am making a profit on my myeloma.

Myeloma is a terrible disease; but without insurance it would be an absolute nightmare.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 12, 2010

Chemo or no chemo:

I have now been off chemo for about 2 1/2 months and I feet quite good; however my numbers (Igg, M-spike, and Kappa LC) are probably getting worse; I will know my new numbers in about 10 days after my 9/17/10 O/H visit. This is always a dilemma; feel good with worsening numbers or feel bad with improving numbers.

Of course I will go back on chemo if my numbers worsen significantly.

With Myeloma, the cure is often worse than the disease.

Oh well

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 10, 2010

I haven't posted for a while; but I have been busy. On August 7, 2010, my family had a surprise birthday party for me. Four daughters and a bunch of grand kids came over and we had a good time. On the 28th I went to a high school reunion in Georgia, which I combined with a business trip.

I completed by my 12 days of radiation on August 6 of the T-7-9 vertebra; this was no big deal. Since I wasn't in any pain, I didn't feel any difference. Most folks with Myeloma feel better after radiation. On August 24, I had my 17th Zometa treatment; these treatments will continue until I have completed a total of 24.

I am still concerned about blood sugar, which may be elevated due to my dex that I take with my Velcade and weekly 10 mg of pills. Right now I am trying to reduce intake of carbs and sugars; will have this rechecked in early 2011.

My last WBC and platelets were 5.3 and 230 thou/cu mm respectively. Hemoglobin and RBC were in the middle of the normal range. Memocrit and Neutophils were in the upper normal range.

Creatinine remains low at 0.9 mg/dl.

Igg increased from 1381 mg/dl on 7/27 to 1503 on 8/10. Still normal; but not moving in the right direction. M-spike increased from 1.1 g/dl to 1.2 over the same time period. Again, not the direction that I wanted. Kappa light chains also increased from 2.36 mg/dl to 2.55. I have an appointment with the H/O on the 17th; and I suspect that I will go back on chemotherapy. Since the numbers did not change drastically, I elected to remain off chemotherapy for another month (i.e., late September).

I have now been off Velcade since June 29th and my neuropathy is definitely diminishing. Actually I feel quite good.

I still don't sleep on the day that I take the dex pills; but during the day, I do nap and generally feel good and productive.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010

I haven't posted for a while; but I am fine but busy. Will try and get an update out in the next week.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1, 2010

I have now completed 7 of 12 days of radiation therapy; 5 more to go. The radiation is low dose and only last about 30 seconds; adjusting the machine is the time consuming part; but the whole deal only takes about 10-12 minutes.

This past Tuesday (7/24), I had my monthly Zometa treatment. MY CBC's were all normal; I also had the more extensive labs; M-spike was stable at 1.1. Igg and Kappa FLC were down a bit

Will meet with the H/O on 8/10; and we will decide if I continue to stay off Chemo; I have been off a month now and feel noticably better. Still take weekly desamethasome pill (10 mg); and will probalby continue to do so for the forseeable future.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 15, 2010

I had my appointment on July 15, 2010 with doctor who will direct my radiation treatment; everyhting went well and I was impressed by both he and the facility. Radiation will continue for 12 days. The first radiation treatment was today; from start to finish and including aligning the equipment took only 1/2 hr; really no big deal. 11 treatments to go.

I have picked up some new consulting work; drove up to Atlanta on Monday and back on Tuesday (800 miles). Work will continue for another few days.

I feel good right now.

Nothing much else to say.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 10, 2010

The appointment for radiation came through quickly. Will be Thursday morining (7/15/2010). H/O and hospital, at least, are quick.

Friday, July 9, 2010

July 9, 2010

Last Wednesday (7/7/2010), I went over to hospital and picked up a CD of my recent CAT-Scan and MRI and took them to another doctor to get a second opinion; he did this and confirmed that the lesions in my vertebra are myeloma. He also called this in my O/H who will be setting up a radiation treatment appointment; hopefully in the next two weeks. I still have no pain and generally feel reasonably good.

The radiologist who rendered the second opinion also suggested that possibly after the radiation treatment is completed, I should consider vertebrolasty (sp?) treatment. This is basically a grout job of the lesions so that they will be less susceptible to fracture. While there is no evidence of fracture so far, I do have several lesions and thus I am susceptible to fractures. The grout job won't cure anything or mitigate existing pain (which I don't have), but will just make the vertebra less susceptible to fracture.

This reminds me of the winter of 1977 when I grouted up a leaking dam in Maine; temperatures were 10-20 degrees below zero; it took 2 months but the leak was plugged.

Today is dex day so I probably won't sleep much tonight.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 6, 2010

Good news gone bad:

In my last post, I blogged that my recent CAT Scan did not show myeloma; however, this was only the oral report; the actual written report said that was a lesion on my T-9 vertebra suspicious of hemangioma (a build-up of blood vessels and no big deal) or less likely myeloma. A MRI was recommended.

Well the MRI ruled out hemangioma and the lesion probably was a myeloma lesion. The next step probably will be radiation. Hopefully, a course of action will be developed some time this week.

I haven't had any back pain at all; in fact my myeloma has not been characterized by not any pain whatsoever.

I had my 15th Zometa treatment last Tuesday (6/29/2010); CBC's were all in normal range and creatinine was 0.9 (good).

We drove to north Georgia on last Thursday to work on our mountain house; I felt quite good; had lots of energy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010

Good News: the CT-scan that was performed last Friday showed no myeloma; while I will still have a Velcade infusion tomorrow; I hope that chemo will curtailed or reduced shortly. Monitoring, obviously, will continue.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15, 2010

Went for Velcade infusion today; no problems. BP was 130/79, WBC = 7.2, Hemoglobin = 14.5, Hemocrit = 14.5, platelets = 44, RBC = 4.59, and creatinine = 0.9. Also got the results of last weeks (6/8/2010), more extensive lab results: Igg = 1432 (normal and down form 6/1/2010 results, M-spike = 1.1, unchanged, and Kappa LC = 3.12, an increase from the previous weeks result of 2.58.

Last Tuesday (6/8/2010), I talked to the stem cell transplant specialist. He is inclined to curtail or reduce chemo and just monitor my blood chemistry over time. If cancer markers go up, then a stem cell transplant may be in order. He and my O/H will discuss this and develop a recommendation. For the time being, weekly chemo will continue. He also has scheduled me for a complete CAT scan just to see in no additional bone lesions have developed. The CAT scan will take place this Friday.

A review of medicare guidelines is that stem cell transplants require the patient to be at Durie-Salmon Stage II or Stage III. It is not clear that my MM is this far advanced (yeah!!!). The CAT scan may provide additional information on this.

This past weekend. my wife went to St. Augustine and ate oysters and seafood and drink draft beer. Very nice.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June 5, 2010

Yesterday was dex day. The dex pills (10 mg) usually make me feel good; however not so much yesterday. I did, however, fall asleep last night at 10:30 and woke up at 7:00 today; thus I had a good nights sleep. Maybe my body is handling the dex better as insomnia appears to be easing up.

I received an e-mail from a high sh cool classmate that one of our classmates is now in a nursing home for dementia and/or Alzheimer's. This fellow would be the same age as me; at least my brain is working ok and I have never had "chemo brain" nor any adverse mental reaction to dex other than insomnia and slight hyperactivity.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 3, 2010

My latest lab results (June 1, 2010) are in and compared with my previous lab results (March 29, 2010); as follows:

Igg was 1491, which is an increase from 1378
M-spike was 1.1 reamining constant
Kappa LC was 2.58, which is a decrease from 2.69
Ca was 9.7 which is normal
Glucose was 172; however, this, while high, was a non-fasting measurement.

The bottom line is that after 4 weeks off chemo, my lab values are not far different than they were on March 29, 2010.

I do have some good news to report on the stem cell transplant front; Shands, at least, will accept my insurance for a consultation to determine if I am a candidate for a transplant. The consultation is scheduled for June 8.

I slept good this past Tuesday after my Velcade infusion and did not need an Ambien. Tomorrow is my dexamethasome day; normally the dex makes me feel good.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010

Went for Velcade/Zometa infusion today; again no big deal. BP was 113/77, creatinine was 1.2; CBC's were all in normal range.

However, a big shock came as the stem cell transplant folks at Shands called to say they did not accept my insurance; now I will have to find a hospital in FL that will accept it. This means that I probably have to go out-of-town for the transplant.

More red tape, damn.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 29, 2010

Well we are back from our Mediterranean cruise.

On May 11, 2010, I had my the pressure in my eyes checked. In few months ago, I had cataract surgery in both eyes; after the surgery, the pressures in my eyes had increased and there was concern that the dex that I was taking as part of my chemo was the cause. The May 11 results were good and pressures were normal. Will have a follow-up checkup in six months but it appears that my chemo regime is not leading to glaucoma.

On Wednesday, May 12, the day before leaving on the cruise, I became sick as a dog with vomiting and diarrhea. We made it Venice ok but while there, I became ill again. Overall, it took about a week to recover. I, however, attribute my illness to something I ate rather to any reaction from mm or my chemo. While on the cruise, I continued to take my weekly 10 mg of dexamethasome.

On June 1, I restart my treatments with Velcade after a 4-week lapse. Will also get my monthly B-12 shot and Zometa infusion. I also will visit my O/H that same day. M-spike, Igg, and Kappa Light chains also will be analyzed; these results generally are not available 3-4 business days later.

I continue to feel reasonably good. While I have been off Velcade, my peripheral neuropathy has decreased (good); thus I am more agile than I was a few weeks ago.

We had a good time in Europe; but it is good to be home in your own house. Still have a lot laundry to do; but my wife and I will get through it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

Today was supposed to be dex day; however, I didn't sleep well last night so I will take an ambien tonight and the dex tomorrow. I now have a 3-week break until June 1 with no chemo. At that time, I will get back on my once a week chemo schedule. I now have an appointment with the stem cell transplant guy on June 8 for the initial consultation.

Last week we went up to the mountain house to do some wall-paper stripping and painting. Nevertheless, we were able to finish the project.

I will not be blogging until about June 1; when we get back from Europe, I will restart my blog.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010

Since my last post on 4/15, I have had 3 additional Velcade infusions (39 total) and 1 additional Zometa infusion (13 total). CBCs and kidney function were all ok; my initial stem cell transplant consultation is scheduled for June 8, after my wife and I get back from vacation.

Will write more to this blog later in the week; but I need to do some household chores right now.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010

Had velcade infusion #35 this past Tuesday; didn't sleep Tuesday night but had good nights sleep Wednesday. Felt good today (Thursday).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 10, 2009

Had my 34th Velcade Infusion on Tuesday (April 6); again no big deal; however, I didn't fall asleep until about 5:00 am on Wednesday. Went to bed on Wednesday evening about 8:00 and had good nights sleep with Ambien. Friday was dex day and again I had a hard time falling asleep; but I slept late today (Sat).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1, 2010

Had my 33rd Velcade Infusion on Monday (March 29, 2010). CBC's were all good and in the normal range and generally better than on March 3, 2010 results (closer to mid-range); so was BP. M-spike had increased to 1.1 from 1.0; however, Kappa LC had dropped to lowest ever of 2.69 (this is a decrease from 3.3 on March 3. Igg dropped to 1378 from 1451 (this is good); my lowest Igg was 1363. The plan is that I will continue to do Velcade once a week until about mid-May, at which time I will drop off chemo for about 3-weeks while we go to Europe for 2 weeks.

After we get back from Europe, we will start discussions on stem cell transplant using my own cells.

Also March 30, was my one year diagnosis date.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, 2010

Had my 31st Velcade Infusion this past Tuesday (3/16/2010). CBCs an BP were all in normal range. Today (Friday) is dex day. Everything is going fine; nothing much else to say.

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 12, 2010

Went to the family doctor about my elevated glucose levels on the 10th. He feels that the levels, which are not that high, have been raised by the dex. He wants me to go on a low carb-low sugar diet; this is no big deal--will have steak instead of pizza.

Today is dex day; stayed busy today; its after 11 pm but I'm not sleepy. Feel ok

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010

Went to eye doctor yesterday for my checkup on my cataract operation; healing is going great; I have 20/25 in left eye and 20/20 in right eye. Will continue using drops until first of April.

However, my pressures are up and I have pre-glaucoma; the eye doctor thinks my dex is causing this; I picked up some drops today, which I will take for week and then have my pressure checked again.

I had my 30th velcade infusion today; no big deal. CBC's were all good.

Friday, March 5, 2010

May 5, 2010

The O/H called the me with March 3's lab results: M-spike was 1.0, no change since no Feb 1, 2010. Igg had incresed to 1451 (still normal but barely so) from 1363; Kappa Light Chains had increased to 3.33 from 3.02. This is not the direction that I was looking to achieve. This may be fluctuation; and values, hopefully may go down before my next appointment, which should be late March or early April.

Today was dex day; generally I feel better on dex days and today was no exception.

Neuropathy is more or less staying the same; not getting better and not getting worse.

The plan is to continue the weekly velcade infusions for another month and then see if any trends are developing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4, 2009 (2nd post)

I just counted that I have had 29 velcade infusions and 11 zometa infusions over the past 11 months. Also have taken 48 dex (10 mg) pills. March 30 will be 1 year from the official diagnosis; although by this time last year, I pretty well knew what was going on.

March 4, 2010

Last week, I had my weekly velcade and zometa treatments. Everything went fine.

On Monday, I had my second cataract treatment this past Monday; I now see 20/20; quite a change from 20/400.

I had my weekly velcade infusion yesterday (March 3, 2010). Labs were all normal as well as BP. Also had my monthly O/H appointment. Will not get my Igg, M-spike, and Kappa LC until early next week--it ususally takes about 4-5 working days to get these results. Heartburn was a problem last night as well as a severe headache. Feel much better today.

Drove up to the mountain house in north Georgia this past weekend; we have decided to sell the house as 400 mile trips from Florida are quite a drag and we just don't go up there much anymore. Real Estate is a bummer in Georgia; but perhaps we will get a reasonable offer. The house is 3/4 paid; so I am not hurting.

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19, 2009

Ultimately last weeks Velcade infusion went ok; insomnia and constipation were manageable.

On Friday, I learned that my glucose level after fasting was 100 (impaired as normal is 65-99) and that my Hemoglobin A1C is 6.8% (normal is < 6.0%). My research, prior to my doctors visit is that the dex may raise blood sugar levels. I have already cut back on carbs and sugar while I am trying to schedule a doctor appointment.

On Monday, I had cataract surgery in my left eye. I now see 2/25 out of that eye; the right eye is still 20/200. The surgery took about 15 minutes and was no big deal; most of the time was spent waiting for my eye to dialate; total time at the eye center was about 1:45 hours.

I had this weeks Velcade infusion on Wednesday. It went fine, CBCs, BP, and creatine were all normal. I am trying to wean myself from Ambien as I have tended to feel groggy the day after I take the pill. Today I took my dexamethasome (10 mg) pill and I will try and sleep without Ambien tonight.

I have generally felt good this week.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 9 ,2009

Today was Velcade infusion day; no big deal; CBC's were all normal. For some reason my right toe stated aching about 1 hr after the infusion was completed. side effect???

Tonight, however, is when the fun begins with insomnia and constipation.

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

I just got the results of my February 1 labs: Creatine was 0.9, the lowest ever (good); Igg was 1363 (the lowest ever; M-spike was 1.0, down 0.2 from Jan 11; Kappa LC was 3.02, down 0.37 from Jan 11. It appears that the reduced Velcade infusions of 1/wk are working. The CBC values were good, except that the RBCs were a touch low.

I have dropped 6 pounds while on a modified Atkins diet.

The rash that I had developed over Christmas turns out not to be anything specific; I will just apply a topical cream twice a day.

My blood glucose levels were high when I last went to my GP; I am having these values rechecked.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 27, 2010

Wednesday morning: I didn't sleep at all Monday night after my double whammy of Zometa and Velcade; however, I felt OK on Tuesday and slept fine on Tuesday night. Went to the eye doctor Tuesday morning; and I will need to have cataract surgery. This is no surprise as this had been suggested more than a year ago before I had been diagnosed with MM. Went ahead and scheduled the procedures, which will be intermixed with my Velcade infusions over the next few weeks.

They have a new eye implant that is supposed to make you see so good that you don't need glasses; right now they will be determining if my eyes are candidates for such implants. The new implants, however, are not covered by insurance so the cost will be on my own nickle. The standard implants, however, are covered; but I would continue to need to use glasses.

The rash that developed on legs and back appears to be diminishing on its own; it certainly hasn't gotten worse. I see the dermatologist next week and maybe he can tell me something one way or the other.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25, 2009

Today was a double whammy day; I receive infusions of Zometa and Velcade at a single sitting. I hadn't done this for more than 8 months. In general, I prefer to receive each at a separate sitting as taking both at one sitting is tiring on me. Nevertheless, I did both today without much effort; when I came home I had lunch and then took a nap. Will probably be up tonight with the dex that I took along with the Velcade. Anyway no big deal at this time.

CBC's and BP were all ok. Nothing else to report on the Myeloma front.

Have an appointment to have my eyes examined tomorrow; suspect cataracts.

Have started my taxes on TurboTax; ugh!!!

My wife will travel to Georgia on Thursday for a business meeting and then come back either Sat, or Sun.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 19, 2009

I had a Velcade Infusion today; nothing much to say; it went easy; but the side effects probably won't show up until this weekend. CBC labs today were in the normal range except RBC, which was slightly low at 4.9 million/cu mm.

I also got the results of January 11, 2010 myeloma markers (after 6 Velcade Infusions since 11/04/09):

Igg had increased from 1414 (11/04/09) to 1547 mg/dl--this is higher but still in the normal range. Iga increased from 26 (11/04/09)to 35 mg/dl--here the lower normal is 71--thus Iga is still low but closer to normal.

M-spike remained constant 1.2 g/dl. The value was 1.2 on 11/30/09 and 1.1 on 11/04/09. Essentially the M-spike is remaining constant.

Kappa Free Light Chains increased from 2.80 mg/dl (11/04/09) to 3.39. This increase concerned my O/H and I will be increasing my Velcade dosage from 2 infusions per three week period to 3 infusions per three week period (i.e., once a week for the foreseeable future). Lambda Free Light Chains increased from .2 mg/dl to .78 and are now in the normal range. The Kappa/Lambda Ratio decreased from 14.0 to 4.35; while still high the ratio is much closer to the normal range of 0.26-1.65 than it was back on 11/04/2009.

The rash on my legs and back still remains but is generally unchanged. My O/H has sent a letter and referral to my dermatologist for a biopsy and an opinion. I should have this issue resolved in the not to distant future.

My wife and I spent the weekend throwing out old stuff (i.e., 1960s textbooks, old files, household junk) and bundling up old (but usable items) for charitable donations.

My neuropathy has increased somewhat from my last post; but I am still mobile and doing household projects.

I now have 24 Velcade Infusions (16 during last spring and summer and 8 since 11/4/2009. Cancer markers definitely decreased last spring and summer; since renewing Velcade in November the results are not clear cut; the markers are often contradictory and diagnostic trends are unclear.

For the time being, the plan is to increase the frequency of velcade infusions to once a week and continue the 10 mg dex pill once a week. Overall, exclusive of the neuropathy, I feel good and am leading a more-or-less normal life.

Friday, January 8, 2010

January 8, 2010

The neuropathy resultant from my December 22 and 29, 2009 Velcade infusions is starting to wane; the neuropathy probably peaked between January 2-6, 2010. The neuropathy just manifests itself as weakness and lack of sensation below the knees and tingling sensations in the hands and feet. Yesterday was dex day; and I only slept about 3 hours last night; but other than being a little bit sleepy today was fine. I took an Ambien at 8:00 and hopefully I should sleep fine tonight.

Occasional rashes about the size of dime to a quarter have broken out on my legs (6 total); this likely is an allergic reaction to the Velcade. The don't particularly itch and are more of a nuisance than a problem. I have my O/H appointment on Monday along with my blood work. We plan to discuss the rashes and ascertain the progress of my chemotherapy. If cancer markers go down, the I will continue with Velcade; on the other hand if they start going up, then another drug, such as Revlimid will be considered.

Tomorrow, we will drive north to have Christmas with the Georgia portion of the family; we had Christmas with Florida portion at Christmas. Celebrating holidays with two distinct and geographically separated families is often difficult (Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Gainesville, Valdosta, Memphis and St. Pete).