Month: November 2004

Stable

I had my monthly appointment and labs about 2 weeks ago, and am still stable. I would love to see a complete remission, but being stable is good enough (considering the alternatives). My IgA is at 1183 mg/dL, and that’s exactly what it was last month.

Peripheral Neuropathy

There’s a condition called peripheral neuropathy that I have as a result of one of the treatments I’ve had. For about 10 months, I took a drug called Thalomid, and it caused nerve damage in my feet and hands. Just recently, my doctor told me to cut out my B-6 supplementation. I have done that, and am hoping it will result in lessening the severity of the nerve damage. Keep your fingers crossed!

I stayed up too late last night!

I stayed up too late last night (until at least 3:30 am), so I slept until noon. The day flew by after that. I did some grocery shopping, went to my office and got a monitor to replace one that was broken at mom’s house (family business, so I’m not stealing from my employer – I am my employer). I walked the dog a little over a mile, and then came home.

Since I took dexamethasone (dex) last night, I’m very tired now. It won’t be long before I go to sleep, but I’m probably going to need some help anyway. I take xanax to help me sleep and stop the jitters from the dex.

I’m about to do some time on the Nordic Track Ellipse. Since I have high blood sugar when I take dex, exercise is one of the things that helps keep it down. It works pretty fast too. I wonder if this would be the case with type II diabetes too? My endocrinologist doesn’t call my high blood sugar diabetes, he calls it a metabolic disorder.

I’m going to be switching my treatment facility with the hope of saving some money. I do have insurance, but I have to pay 20% of the cost of the treatment, Zometa, which costs over $2,000 every 4 weeks. If you don’t have insurance now, do whatever you can to get it. Cancel your cable and cut back on anything else you can. It’s more important than you could ever imagine until something like cancer happens to you. If I didn’t have insurance, I’d have had to sell my house and car by now. Don’t count on the government (or anyone else) to care what happens to you. I’m serious about that. I got cancer when I was 41 years old, and am 43 now. Multiple Myeloma is a chronic cancer. I’ll need treatment the rest of my life, and eventually will have a stem cell transplant, which can cost up to $150,000. Please take my word for it and get health coverage if you don’y already have it. An illness will be financially devastating.

Ok, I’m going to hit the Nordic Track!

Last Appointment

I had my 4 week appointment with Dr. O. at UNC Chapel Hill. My labs were pretty good, excluding the cancer. My IgA, which I feared would rise, seems to have levelled off, thank goodness! It was the same as last month: 1183 mg/dL. You can see the full report here. It’s at its highest level since I began treatment, but at least it didn’t go up again. I can live with that.

Dr. O. gave me the go ahead to take turmeric (curcumin). I bought 900 mg capsules that also contain pepper, believe it or not! The pepper helps the body utilize the curcumin. Oops. I need to take my capsule!

Spam

My blog has been getting spammed every day. The junk messages don’t appear on the site, but they come to me via email, since I have the blog configured to wait for my approval before posting comments. Thanks to those spamming losers, I have shut off comments to all but registered users. I hope you’ll register and continue to post your comments and thoughts. If you have any trouble, please let me know.

I still stand by my opinion that spam would be of little vaule to the pond scum that send it if people refused to do business with them. Therefore, I think it’s the people who BUY their junk that we should be punishing (in addition to spammers). This is my idea for a nationwide public awareness campaign slogan and bumper sticker:

“Buy from a spammer, and go to the slammer!”

Vegetarian?

I had read someplace that the protein needs of people with cancer are higher than that of the general population. I also saw on one of my Dana-Farber handouts that people on steroids need more protein. I fit into both categories. When I first learned I had MM, I became a vegetarian. Actually I was vegan for a while. I didn’t have any animal products. I started having meat again about a year ago. I’m not sure why, exactly. It’s not like it’s the best thing for me. Unless you can find organic, you’ll be exposed to all kinds of toxins just by eating meat and fish.

Recently I found Gardenburger meals, and tried a few. They’re pretty good! They don’t contain preservatives and all the chemicals other packaged foods do. I don’t really know all the details. Just what I read on the box. I’m not trying to do a commercial! These things are quick & easy, and will hopefully prevent me from eating things that are potentially bad for me when I’m in a hurry. My appetite is out of control sometimes, thanks to dex, and my Doc wants me to lose weight before I have a SCT.

The Gardenburger web site