Saturday, February 28, 2009

Livin' it up at the Hotel Chemotherapy...

It's been a few days...I've been in a "chemo fog" for some time. The side effects are fairly manageable so far -- I had a pretty nasty case of the hiccups, of all things, but they prescribed a medicine for that. I have a bit of heartburn, also manageable by medicine. The rest is just being exhausted most of the time -- I've experienced, thus far, none of the "up and at 'em" that the dexamethasone is supposed to infuse --and thus none of the "roid rage" I've been concerned about. The exhausting does make it hard to focus, but I can live with it.

Oh, and then there's the pain. I think it must be associated with the heavy load on my kidneys but the lower back feels okay now, but directly above it, in both and back and the front, it's very painful to lie down, and painful to get up. I've been taking a little Oxycontin for it and that seems to help -- a LITTLE. The nurse says that it will be difficult to gauge pain for the next week or so because the pain from the disease will go down, but the pain from the meds will be present and when I start getting the twice-a-day growth shots to increase my blood counts, that is supposed to cause pain as well. Oh well. It will subside when it's ready.

Speaking of blood counts, I am happy to say that the elevated kidney activity that almost landed me in the hospital a few days ago is, in fact, related to the effectiveness of the treatment. My IgG (parts of immunoglobulin G per dL of blood) has falled from somewhere around 14,000 upon my arrival here to 8300. This is where it was at the beginning of January, and this is only after 1.5 full days on therapy. So far, so good.

I am on the bag for one more day, so hopefully by the time that is done, this number will be much lower already.

I'm noticing a teensy bit of neuropathy, most prominently in my left foot. I took the cymbalta yesterday and today but I will get the prescription for the B6 and folate on Monday and that should help as well.

Running out of energy for this blog. Thanks for all the email, phone calls and blog comments. I appreciate every one!

24 comments:

  1. Nick,

    Good to hear that you are staying positive despite all the pain, and that things are looking in the right direction. You are in our thoughts always.

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  2. Speaking of "roid rage" Tim spent his 1st month of treatment on Pulse Dex. 40 mgs. 4 days on then 4 off. His doc's head nurse warned us about "roid rage." She said they had one patient actually attack a neighbor with a
    shovel!!! I thought "great, not only do I have to hide my Smith and Wesson but I have to hide all the damn garden implements too?!!! JEEZ"
    He did fine with it though. He never really had the rage thing. Maybe it's because he lives with me and I am an absolute PEACH!
    Sorry if the hysterics made your back hurt more. I could barely get through typeing that sentence without laughing myself. :o) Denise

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  3. yay yay yay. glad your numbers are looking good, at least! so glad you're such a fighter. and a lover at the same time. hahaha. still in my thoughts and prayers every single moment!!! feel good. miss you tons.

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  4. Still thinking of you and Jill daily. Thanks for keeping us updated.

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  5. Been thinking about you and wondering how the treatment was progressing. So happy to read this. Thanks for the update.

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  6. Posting issues persist for me so I just created a new profile. Hopefully that does it. Anyway, I'm so glad to hear that progress is being made. The fatigue and pain sound terrible but it's great that it's due to the those meds doing their thing. BTW love the name of this post. Very clever. XOXO.

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  7. It looks like you have accomplished a lot so far! I hope this weekend brought you some peace and quiet and that you were able to relax a bit. You are doing great - keep it up!

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  8. It is always good to hear from you, but those of us with MM loved ones know that sometimes you just don't feel up to blogging. I am intending and praying that you have a successful outcome... you're on my prayer list which gets my attention every day. Your upbeat perspective will help to see you through it - even when you don't feel that way, it's still there.

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  9. And here's a website you might find enjoyable when nothing else appeals... http://www.hulu.com... you don't need to pay a huge cable bill - I hope you have wireless or some kind of access where you are, but I hope this info is useful. Blessings,

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  10. Oh! so much luck with all this... from us two in UK... Wishing you well.

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  11. Thinking of you every day from Down Under Nick.

    Scott, Columbine and Baby Juliette

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  12. You're in my thoughts each day...you're gonna beat it...

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  13. Hoping that things have gone well for you this week, and that you are starting to feel like YOU are getting control over this disease. Every day, even in microscopic ways, your are working toward beating this nasty thing - and YOU WILL SUCCEED!!!! Wishing you well and sending you strength!

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  14. Nick - We MISS you at the office. We miss your humor, your weird-ball, your great leadership, and we miss YOU. I've been thinking about you a lot and my thoughts are with you as you go through this challenge! You 'da man! We are routing for you at the office! Take care - all the best - Elaine

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  15. Stay Strong Nick...Lots of love and prayers coming your way.

    Fight On!
    Toddles

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  17. Sounds like it is going ok so far!! I understand that the bad days can seem to get out of control! Just take my advice and take each hour or even minute as it comes, remember the good times and try and forget the rest. I know this is tough, but I believe that you can do this!! I am looking forward to meeting you after this treatment is completed.

    God bless you!
    Jon Heggie

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  18. Hi Nick,

    Hope all is going well. I check this blog several times a day. Update soon, if you feel up to it, please! xoxo

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  19. Hi Nick,
    We're thinking of you and sending lots of prayers and strength your way. Lots of love to you and Jill. Be good to yourselves. Love, Mike & Julie

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  20. Thinking of you Nick. Looking forward to when you can post at length of your journey through Arkansas' Total Therapy.

    J

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  21. I thought about you today. Can't wait for another post to know how things are going for you. Keep dominating.... -Phil

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  22. Thinking about you and praying that you are ok and beating this disease. Your friends in Illinois.... Bruce and Jan

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  23. Thinking of you every day. Looking forward to the next post. Sending good thoughts and prayers to you and the family.

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