Sunday, April 5, 2009

So far, so good!!

I am pleased to report that so far, me and Mr. Melphalan are getting along just fine.

I went to the seventh floor, checked into a semi-private room (fortunately nobody else showed) and sat in a recliner. They drew my bloodwork, and informed me they would not be proceeding if my CRP exceeded 10. I would be very sad to be all dressed up (having taken my Dex this morning) with nowhere to go, so I sat, and waited for results of my just-drawn blood to come back, while saline dripped into my arm and Paul and I watched Vicky Christina Barcelona (a nice movie, for what it's worth).

After about forty five minutes, my labs came back and my CRP was 7.0 -- right in the normal range. Green light for poison! I was given Kytril and something else (begins with an E...I'll report) as preventatives for nausea, and I was instructed by the nurse to suck on ice chips, which is believed to help prevent the painful mouth sores which are one of the most common side effects of Melphalan. So I got three big cups of crushed ice and commenced to eat this for 20 minutes leading up to the infusion, the 20 minutes of the infusion, and 30 minutes afterwards.

The infusion itself was no big deal. Melphalan can only exist in a liquid state for an hour, so they don't prepare the agent until they are ready to go. Once they prepared it, they brought in a little plastic bag, confirmed my identity, and started the drip. I felt fine, and still do. My cancer, on the other hand, just took a big kick in the face. I also got an IV push of Velcade, and a fairly painful shot of Lovinox (a preventative for the blood clotting that Dex and Thalidomide can cause) in the belly.

We were there about three hours, maybe a little less. I left feeling fine. In fact, four hours later, my back hurts less than it has in quite sometime. A big one-two punch to the face of the cancer. I have been rinsing my mouth with a special mouthwash that is supposed to help ward off the mouth sores, but otherwise, I feel pretty darn good. I am sure this will give way to exhaustion as neutropenia sets in...but so long as I can avoid penumonia or an opportunistic infection, I am optimistic that I will weather this current batch of chemo.

My cancer, on the other hand, is going to be reeling. There is a marked decrease in back pain, which I attribute to the Myeloma not knowing what hit it.

I'm going to grab a dinner out with my friend Graeme while my stamina allows. Meanwhile, thanks again for your support!


  1. 40 mg of dex makes for some pretty strong
    anti-inflamatory action and is most likely
    what is behind your back feeling so well, not
    that the MM didn't just take a wallop, but many find their aches and pains go away when they're
    popping the 'roids. Glad to hear things are going smoothly. :o)

  2. Yay, Nick!
    Sooooooo happy to hear that it went so well and that you're feeling a bit better! What a relief! xoxo

  3. I'm still trying to get past the fact that you look like Kojak.

  4. Nick,
    Just had lunch with Alex Daniels and your name came up. We are both wishing you well and look forward to catching up for a great bottle of wine. I shared your comment from our dinner some time ago that "now you only drink the good stuff." Be well, keep up the fight, glad to see that your narrative confirms that you are the aggressor.
    Mark VanLith

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