Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Musketeers and a Guy with a Wet Hacking Cough

Years ago, that was an entry on a David Letterman Top 10 list for "least favorite candy bars."   I remember the #1 entry was Johnny Bench's Nut Clumps.

Anyhow, I feel like that third guy and have for some time.  There was a bad cold going around the office, and my adorable little boy Carson was coughing, and it was just a matter of time until my immune system gave way.   I'm not complaining -- I've been very fortunate in that I've not been sick this year, I don't think, and considering both my kids and my wife have had the stomach flu and I was helping my poor son with his uncontrollable vomiting at 2AM, I'm damn lucky that I didn't get that.

So a bad bronchial condition that probably went from bronchitis to pneumonia is a mild issue, really.   I got a course of amoxycillin from the good folks at UAMS and that's more or less knocked it out.   I was out of Tamiflu when I first started getting the scratchy throat and had that not been the case, I might've knocked it out before it got bad.   Note to self: always keep Tamiflu on hand.

Minor problem with that: insurance doesn't cover it.   And it's about $100 for a 10-pill box.   Gulp.   So it's $50 to get rid of a bad cold quickly, essentially.   Probably worth it in the grand scheme of things.

Anyhow, it's on the way out now, though it's been here for about 10 days and I'd love it to be gone now, thankyouverymuch.

In other news, I decided to be a bit more militant about taking Ragalin -- an anti-nausea drug that supposedly also keeps the digestive track rolling -- whilst taking my reduced dose of Dex (down to 8mg a week).   I tried this the previous week and it didn't really help.  I still had the feeling that anything I ate from Wednesday AM was still in my stomach come Friday morning.  It's a rotten feeling, believe me. 

But this week, I took a Ragalin with Dex on Tuesday night, another one Wednesday morning, and another one last night and I don't feel nearly as distended and gross as I did the previous week.  Of course I'm also taking magnesium pills for the Revlimid-induced cramps, and the magnesium does ward off constipation brought on my the combination of antibiotics, Velcade, Revlimid and dex.    Incidentally what could be gently called "ward off constipation" on Tuesday and Wednesday night becomes "turns you into a booster rocket gripping the toilet seat for dear life" by Thursday.   But then these are minor things compared to the leg cramps so I've adjusted to the new normal.

15 more months to go, give or take.   Although frankly I wouldn't mind sticking on this stuff another year since the longer I stay on it, the more definitive the cure signature is.   I'm sure I could go off it after 3 years, since that's what BB says is enough.  Yet I also learned from my last dinner with BJ that there are people alive post TT2 and TT1 20 years later who are taking Thalidomide despite the fact that it's certainly lost its effectiveness.

I'll worry about abandoning my security blanket when the time comes.  As alluring as the final endgame to this interesting if undesirable match of GI chess has been for the last 26 months, I wouldn't mind saying goodbye to it!