Month: November 2005


I faxed my consent form to the cancer center in Charlotte, NC that’s doing the EAP trial for rev/dex. I hope to hear from them soon about it. They said I can have all my tests done here by my local doctor, and would only have to go see them to get my drug supply. That sounded wonderful. I was in a trial in which I was having to drive to UNC about once a week for either an infusion or labs. It was getting stressful for me and I got to a point where I didn’t want to go at all. I suppose if the drug had been working for me, I would have looked forward to going. The hour (plus) drive was just too much. I was spending too much time away from things. I need to get back to my life.

Revlimid and dex might be the next step

Since I feel that the CNTO 328 trial is not working for me, I’ve been thinking about my next treatment step. I’m almost 100% sure that I want to enroll in the Multicenter, Open-Label, Single-Arm, Expanded Access Program For Lenalidomide Plus Dexamethasone In Previously Treated Subjects With Multiple Myeloma. It involves high dose dex, which isn’t very appealing to me. I’d have to take the dex at 40 mg a day for 4 days, with 4 days off, over a period of 16 weeks. That would be the longest I’ve ever been on high dose dex. Revlimid is supposed to be 50 to 100 times stronger than Thalomid, which I took back in 2003. Thalomid worked for me. I think it may have been more the dex though. My response slowed down after I went to just 40 mg dex a week. One thing I’m concerned about is that my MM seemed to have become resistant to dex. Will the high dose dex do more harm than good?

I just know that I need to choose another treatment. I’m weary of having to go for IV treatments, so the pills seem very convenient. I’m tired of being poked. It seems my veins are too. Each time I go, there are multiple attempts to get an IV going. I have one good vein on my left hand, and it has its scars.

Meteor Shower

I saw three tonight!

TAURIDS (very broad maximum in early November) (radiant drift map from IMO)

Moon: Waxing crescent to waxing gibbous (minor to moderate interference)

Best viewing window: Between 11pm and 2am local standard time on any night in early November; late October may be productive as well.

Recommended for: Observers who don’t mind seeing low rates in exchange for the possibility of a spectacular fireball or two.

The Taurids produce maximum rates of about 5-10/hour. The shower has a complex double radiant. For 2005, it has been suggested that there may be an increase in the number of bright and/or fireball-class Taurids. Taurids are rather slow meteors; bright ones are often vividly colored and may be spectacular. Usually, they are noticed casually while undertaking other observations. This year’s display may or may not be worth watching in and of itself; the Taurids are included here to give fair warning.

The world is not your ashtray

I wish people wouldn’t smoke. They do though. But why do they have to throw cigarette butts and empty packs out across the countryside? Smoking increases your risk of heart attack, lung cancer, stroke, esophageal cancer and much, much more. Let’s not forget about secondhand smoke and its impact on the health of innocent bystanders!

Cigarette Smoking Statistics

In the United States, an estimated 26.3 million men (25.2 percent) and 21.2 million women (20.7 percent) are smokers. These people are at higher risk of heart attack and stroke. The latest estimates for persons age 18 and older show…*

Among whites, 25.2 percent of men and 20.7 percent of women smoke (2002).
Among black or African Americans, 27.0 percent of men and 18.5 percent of women smoke (2002).
Among Hispanics/Latinos, 23.2 percent of men and 12.5 percent of women smoke (1999-2001).
Among Asians (only), 21.3 percent of men and 6.9 percent of women smoke (1999-2001).
Among American Indians/Alaska Natives (only), 32.0 percent of men and 36.9 percent of women smoke (1999-2001).
Studies show that smoking prevalence is higher among those with 9-11 years of education (35.4 percent) compared with those with more than 16 years of education (11.6 percent). It’s highest among persons living below the poverty level (33.3 percent).
* National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 19992001, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Health United States 2003 and 2004