Friday, July 24, 2009

Quick update on a few fronts...

First of all, I forgot to mention this yesterday but I finally shed the last couple of pounds from the dex this time out. It was a 15 pound swing up and down. I am now three pounds lighter than when I started treatment six months ago. Sadly, the composition of those pounds has shifted away from muscle to fat as the dex (and inactivity) has destroyed a lot of muscle. I can't say I look forward to physical therapy, but I do look forward to being on the other side of it.

Lab results from yesterday are generally good. In fact they are quite good, with the exception of the M spike which remains stable at "trace" levels. This prompts the question: would "trace" become "zero" -- and would it be immunofixation negative at that -- with another round of consolidation. Or is what I have had, plus what I will get in maintenance, enough. Obviously, this is a question for BB. We were originally supposed to meet with him on Monday, but our APN decided to cancel that since there wouldn't be a point in it unless I was ready to be discharged. She wanted to see if I would still be neutropenic.

And on that note, I turned the corner today. Yesterdays WBC was 0.55, and todays is 0.6. I suspect that by Sunday, I will no longer be neutropenic. Hopefully this will be the last time in my life that my immune system is destroyed!

I also got the last Velcade push today. This represents the final medicine of the primary protocol here. There's a lot to do in maintenance therapy, but that's it as far as killing cancer in Little Rock. Unless, of course, we decide that another round of consolidation therapy is in order. I was mulling that over today as we walked to the car, and all I could think of was the recurring theme in M*A*S*H where Hawkeye kept complaining about more points being required before he could rotate back to Maine. I'm struggling now to recall the town where his character was from...Wikipedia is just a click away but I think I'll let this one rest.

My hemoglobin is in the 12s, so I don't feel nearly exhausted as I have in the past. Hopefully this will continue to recover. I don't know what I would do with myself if it were squarely in the "normal" range! Platelets fell to 29 today. We'll see if that is the bottom or if they fall further. They probably won't infuse me with more unless it falls tomorrow to well below 20.

All the electrolytes look good. The RDW (the variability in the size of the red blood cells) is now normal. This is a common out-of-whack number for patients with MM so I take that as a good sign.

They also ran cholesterol, which was not fasting, and it came in around 254. This is high, were I fasting, but we don't know what it is without fasting so I asked the APN to include that with tomorrow's tests and I will not eat anything in the morning. It's a treat but also a headache to be focused on cholestrol in my blood numbers for a change. It brings me back to considering whether or not to go on Lipitor, since at least one crack-pot out there thinks Lipitor caused my cancer. I've also been told that Revlimind reduces cholesterol, and I've been told that the renewed immune system may better manage cholesterol production. We'll see how this all shakes out in the weeks and months to come.

That's about all I can think of right now...so off to bed it is.

Oh...Hawkeye Pierce was from Crabapple Cove. I had to look it up after all. ;)

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