Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fine-tuning maintenance...

I've decided that my haphazard trial and error with respect to Senna (anti-constipation med) is a failed strategy and I need to be more meticulous and recording what I'm doing.

An aside: doesn't "anti-constipation" sound much better than either "laxative" or "stool softener."  Shudder.

Anyhow, I am formally noting for next time that starting Senna on Tuesday night is not a good idea.  Next week I will try Wednesday AM instead.

In non-poop related news, the following tricks (mostly mentioned by people that follow this blog!) have been extremely helpful:

* Take Dex at night!!!!   While counter intuitive, the drug doesn't kick in for several hours so if you take it at bedtime, you'll get a good five hours or so before you have issues.

* Over-the-counter magnesium supplements for the Revlimid-driven leg cramps.  Mine has Zinc and some vitamin B in it as well.  The stuff I am taking can be found here.  I take three pills a night on the nights that I take Revlimid.

As for the rest of maintenance, I got another shot of testosterone yesterday (this time without a prostate exam -- I greatly preferred this time to the previous one!)   I would say that there is a marginal increase in mojo.

It occurs to me that some blog followers (including those in my family) may not get the pop culture reference associated with my mojo-related comic relief photos.  I'll have to explain it to you another time.

As my normal nurse is on vacation for a few weeks, I'm going to a hospital rather than the doctor's office for my velcade push.  This experience made me feel thankful that I can normally do this in a doctor's office (MUCH less administrative hassle, much less time taken) and also made me realize how efficient Arkansas is.  The efforts made to keep the room clean in Arkansas (e.g. wiping down the chairs with alcohol after after patient) and the efficiency with which labs are returned, etc. is pretty astounding by comparison to other facilities.

After a week off Revlimid, my counts looked pretty good!   Some of this could be due to different labs, but my WBC was at 4.0, my platelets at around 115, and my HGB at 14!  All good markers (relatively speaking).

I got rid of my cold -- FINALLY -- after about 20 days.  The over/under is 10 days before I get another. Who's taking bets?  :)

I did hear from another MM traveler that they get IVIG from BB in Arkansas, and that it enhances their ability to fend off colds and get over them quicker.  I am starting to believe that BB knows more about this than my doubting oncologist in Encino, or perhaps even than the colleague of my primary care physician (who was less certain in her advice not to get the IVIG).  We shall see.  It will be a topic of conversation with Dr. GD when I see him next week, and with BB in May.

Lastly, there's something funky going on with my left ear.

There is an intermittent pulse -- like hearing a heartbeat there but much more rapid (up to 200 bpm) and variable.  I asked my dear friend Dr. BM about this and he suggested trying a nasal decongestant spray so I'm gonna give that a shot and see what happens.  I'm not concerned about it, but it's rather irritating and distracting.

That's it for now, folks.