Friday, February 10, 2006

Melphalan is a real ass-kicker

I got an hour of a drug called melphalan on Monday. They prepped me with anti-nausea medicine and that buffered me for the beginning. But later though the day the waves of nausea just kept coming. So I took pills and got injections though my catheter. The weasiness was like being in a boat -- a tiny row boat that wobbles from side to side and had trouble keeping stable. I was feeling like my stomach had gone off for a ride on a roller coaster and was just sending me the feelings of the ups and downs. Yuck!

I have been trying to hang on to a steady middle of the road. And the only way to doo that for some big pieces of the day is to go to sleep. It's a bummer, but it is a well expected side effect of the melphalan. And it will continue until my blood cel counts fall down to really low levels. At that point, I am suppposed to have so little energy, that nausea will be beyond my reach. I will basically be a lump.

Today, I just messed up and didn't keep the anti-nausea meds at a sufficient level, so I was puking into a bucket midday. The nurse came over and hit me with the atavan right away and that allowed me to put a lid on it and crash out gain. Thank goodness. I just have to hang on until the counts drop. Supposedly the nausea fades then.

But there is nothing to do until we get to those days.

Yesterday I received my own blood stem cells back. That was day '0' and today is day '1'. By day 10, I should be recovered to a level that will let me go home. All I can say is that I hope that all works out. Today I just want to rest and avoid pukking again.

.. that's it for now..

Monday, February 06, 2006

Another biopsy

My transplant team needs to know the present status of the cancer. So this morning I went back to Robert Wood Johnson hospital for another biopsy of the bone marrow of my sacrum.

No big deal .. they give me a little local anesthetic and then stick a ten inch (no that is not an exaggeration -- it is really that long, though they only put it into me about 3 inches) needle into the bone at the base of my spine. Then they take some samples of the bone marrow for testing.

It really is not a big deal procedure. Since the topical anesthetic is so effective, I really did not feel much of anything. Well, that was until the surgeon managed to find my sciatic nerve with the tip of the needle. Then a bolt of white lightning shot down my hip all the way to my heel. What a Shot! And without any control at all, my leg jerked and I was immediately afraid I might have caused the surgeon to cause some damage to my nerves or spine. So far as I can tell, nothing happened other than the momentary pinch. They seemed to need to take several samples, but other than the nerve shot, it went easier than the one I did last September.

They are looking for the cancerous blood plasma cells. The test results will be a tracking point for us to compare with the earlier bone biopsy -- the one that was used to determine that I had multiple myeloma in the first place.

On Another Topic
My admission to HUMC has been delayed due to a missing final approval from the insurance company. Actually everything is all complete, but since there is a chance I will join the trial / study they need to re-review the documents to be certain coverage would be available. It could cause a problem if I was already receiving treatment before all approvals were in place.

.. catch ya later ..

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Free Offer! You Qualify for the Trial / Study Now Underway!!!

The research coordinator at HUMC brought me a pack of documents. They describe an experiment that is being done to discover more about treating multiple myeloma. She said that there is a team at HUMC who have joined the experiment and would like me to be one of the patients.

WoW! Should I feel lucky? I do not know. Did the various parts of Frankenstein feel lucky before the experiment started? Gee; I wonder!

Here is a link to information about the experiment. [Oh, I know they call it a 'Study/Trial', but that is just fancy words for 'experiment']
National Cancer Institute Study Information Page