Thursday, November 17, 2011

Overdue for a catchup...notes on three years post diagnosis, etc.

Howdy folks.   Been busy as a beaver in my job, so I've been scarce around here.  Sorry about that!

I've endured a couple of misadventures over the past few weeks.  I had a nasty bout of what turned out to be gastroenteritis late last week that laid me up for a couple of days with pretty wretched abdominal pain.  Not sure how I got it -- the family was all sick but I managed to avoid coming down with whatever they had...unless it got into the GI tract somehow.

Two days of Vicodin (one day of Oxycontin, since the Vicodin wasn't cutting it!) and some Levaquin and I felt better.   Then it somehow came back three days later, this time for only 24 hours.  It's now 48 hours behind me and hopefully not returning...

I've also learned that I've got some tiny pre-cancerous spots on my forehead.   These are, I am told, normal in someone my age (43) and not in danger of being malignant, and that they are easily frozen off, with minimal chance of recurrence, and if they do return, it's unlikely they will become cancerous, and if they do become cancerous, they will almost certainly be benign rather than malignant.   So I'm not terribly worried, and I shall attend to them soon.

I've also finished the Steve Jobs biography, which is fascinating...I will only say one thing to my dear curcumin friends...dietary stuff often doesn't work.  Jobs tried it, hated the idea of pursuing aggressive treatment.  And it was responsible, sounds like, for him not catching his tumor before it spread.  Had he gone the Western medicine option, he might be alive today.  The author strongly implies he regretted his decision.

Lastly, I suppose I should say something about the anniversary of my diagnosis, which came and went unheralded a few days ago.  It's been an interesting, harrowing, enlightening, frightening, terrible and hopeful ride.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of all the people that through this blog gave me support, kind words of encouragement and strength during the worst of it -- thank you all so much.  And hardly a day goes by when I am not contacted by a newly diagnosed patient or a friend of a newly diagnosed patient.  One of the great things in my life is counseling the please keep reaching out.  If I can be helpful in any way, I want to be.

Overall...I feel good.  I won't be sad to leave these medicines behind a year from now, but I've been through 2/3 of my maintenance program, and I do believe that a year from now, I will be cured.  Not an operational cure, not it'll be back in six years, not "we'll wait and see."  Cured, as it no more meds for Myeloma and a statistically insignificant chance of it ever returning.  That's been the gambit.

Of course my hope is that before that time, a much less invasive cure that will leave me laughing ruefully at the need for tandem transplants and overjoyed that others will be able to be rid of this.  That day will come, eventually.  Let's hope it happens soon!

The next major milestone for me is my check-up in Arkansas in March, but I will be back before then, for sure.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!