Wednesday, July 21, 2010

GI Chess -- not for the high-brow

If you know what this picture is from, then you can guess what this post is going to be about.

I have remarked before that this is not a dignified disease.

I have also remarked that if this blog is of value, it is in large part because of unflinching honesty.  One of the most fearful things about undergoing Myeloma treatment is the unknown.  So whether it's the uncomfortable reality of diagnoses, the uncomfortable reality of treatment, the uncomfortable reality of side-effects, etc. I hope that by faithfully reporting what happens to me, others who are undergoing treatment or considering it can at least know what they can expect might happen.

Which brings me to this post.  I type this knowing I'm going to have another post shortly therafter so at least this won't be at the top of my page for long!

By the way, folks, thank you very much for the active comments re: supplements on the last post.  If I asked my doctor here about them, he would say "ask Arkansas" so I will probably call BJ this week.  I have discontinued Milk Thistle.  I still take this liver.52 product which does seem to have brought down AST so it is having a positive effect but I will cover it off with BJ as this seems the prudent thing to do.  I don't want any side effects!

Now...speaking of side-effects...

My GI tract has been in a state of war kind of like the Korean peninsula.  I modulate Senna to keep an uneasy truce between the white pieces (constipation) and the black pieces (you can guess).  Most matches are played to a draw.

On the white side, we have Revlimid (both individually and particularly when combined with Dex).  On the black side we have Velcade, Magnesium supplements, the impact of Augmentin (strong antibiotic I am currently taking to get rid of chest cold #7 since maintenance therapy began), and potentially the chest cold itself.  Actually I think Velcade plays both sides at times.

For the last five days now, the black pieces are beating the living daylights out of the white pieces.  There is one white king desperately shifting around while about six queens are zipping about him.

Two oft-quoted pieces of research about diarrhea: (1) it is hereditary (it runs in the genes) and (2) while some people think it's funny, it's really....well.  Anyhow, a third observation is that after five days it's starting to get very old.  I am not yet taking Immodium because I took Dex last night and figured the natural advantage that gives to the White side of the board will kick in and if there's one thing I've learned in this process, it's about the dangers of over-steering.  In fact this five day binge kicked in because I overdid Senna last week.   But if things don't get settled down in the next 48 hours, I'll be on Immodium rapidly.

Meanwhile I'm drinking plenty of water.

I have another important post to make that I had hoped would bump this one down a couple of notches.  But sadly I have to run to a breakfast meeting -- so this one will be here for a bit, in all its glory.

I'm not going to embed the video, but for those that saw the photo above and are pining for some toilet humor, the scene you are looking for is here:


  1. Nick: I value many things about your blog (and you), but your honesty and humor top the list. I have one of those come-on-get-it-over-with-already chest colds, too, and a battle royale befitting Fischer and Spassky. This, too, shall pass. Get better! Sean

  2. Chocolate binds me up and that kind of medicine is "right up my alley". Go get yourself a king size hershey bar. I've got the sound effects of that movie scene running through my brain now. I don't think even the highest brow of folks could watch that without cracking up.

  3. Hi Nick,
    are you taking any probiotics? I think these would be quite useful at balancing out your GI issues (both sides of spectrum), plus they can help keep immunity strong.

    Contact me if you want suggestions about which strains of probiotic are particularly useful.

    Cheers, Carlin