Month: July 2004

Holiday weekend

The holiday weekend was relaxing. We grilled some chicken sausage and vegetables on the fourth. If you get the chance, try some Al Fresco chicken sausage — especially the teriyaki and ginger. They’re really good. I can’t speak for the other flavors. There’s one thing about this stuff that makes me cringe, and that’s the casing. Why does it have to be made of pork intestines? Even so, I loved this sausage. I just don’t understand how I can overlook the intestines. :) It’s just that good.

Politics

I was fairly disturbed when I got my mail today, and found campaign literature from a local man who is trying to keep his seat in the NC House. It’s not likely he will, because he’s in the dog house with the local Republican party. Anyway, back to the item that caused my blood to nearly boil. The campaign literature is covered with pictures of President Reagan. I remembered how the Reagan family was upset the Pres. Bush used his pictures in some campaign ad, and their spokesperson issued a press release saying that permission was needed before anyone could use his likeness. She also added that permission was not likely to be given.

I emailed the candidate and told him I thought his use of the images was opportunistic and disrespectful. (In such poor taste!) I sent a copy of my message to the local newspaper too.

Why did this make me so mad? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I just got home from seeing Fahrenheit 9/11. I’ve never trusted politicians. The movie brought a lot of issues to the foreground for me, and I wasn’t feeling very forgiving.

MMRF Score for a Cure

The MMRF got a good plug on Fox today. Kathy Giusti was shown throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Mets vs Yankees game this afternoon. She did a good job! Ok, she threw like a girl, but it was just ceremonial. :) I don’t know how much money was raised, but the final score was 10-9, with a Mets victory over the Yankees.

If you haven’t made a donation to the MMRF or the IMF this year, please do so!

Here are some links to help you find your way.

MMRF
IMF

Will I have a stem cell transplant?

I’m 99.99% sure I’m going to go ahead with a stem cell transplant. There just doesn’t seem to be any other chance at a prolonged and drug-free remission. Of course I know that the possibility of no remission at all exists. I believe I would at least get a near complete remission, because I did get a pretty good response with the minimum dose of Thalomid + dex.

This is quite a change from the way I was thinking in January, 2003 and for most of the time thereafter. It’s the dex that did it. I’m near the end of what I can tolerate. It’s just wearing me down.

SCT is a very, very scary thing for me. I don’t like the idea of being in the hospital for 3 weeks and then having to stay in Chapel Hill for another 2 weeks. I don’t like being out of control of my life like that. I’ve never had chemo, let alone a lethal dose of chemo. I have this really unrational fear of vomiting too. It may sound weird, but it’s true. It’s called emetophobia.

I have an appointment with a doctor at UNC’s BMT center to talk about this again and possibly set a date and get my questions answered.

New Treatment Strategies for Multiple Myeloma

Dr. Hussein, at the Cleveland Clinic, has published some information in something called Peer View in Focus. The article of interest is called “New Treatment Strategies for Multiple Myeloma.”

Something that really caught my eye about DVD was this:

The median time to progression was 23.1 months, and the median survival had not yet been reached at 60 months. Progression-free survival was 42% at 2 years and 23% at 3 years. Two-year and 3-year survival rates are estimated to be 79% and 67%, respectively. Median follow-up among the patients still alive is 62.0 months (range, 50.9-70.3 months).

He also says he believes that DVD with Thalomid appears to be as effective as a single atuo transplant. That’s my interpretation – so please do read it and draw your own conclusions.

Here’s a link to the publication. I hope you’ll read it. Let me know what you think!