Month: October 2006

Iron Poor Blood?

Remember those ads for Geritol? I have an iron deficiency and low hemoglobin and hematocrit, so I’m taking an iron supplement + vitamin C a few times a day and getting shots of EPO (Erythropoietin alpha) each week. This is from the chemo at the beginning of the month. Anyway, this condition can make one very tired. It’s not something a Geritol tablet’s going to fix.

I’m taking 325 mg of ferrous sulfate along with 250 mg of vitamin C, 3 times a day. Did you know that vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron? It’s true. If you’re taking iron, you should also take some vitamin C at the same time. Here’s some interesting stuff about iron.

I’ve been told that I should expect a response in about 4 weeks. Hopefully, the hemoglobin and iron will get back to normal and I can stop feeling so exhausted.

Cytoxan and hair loss

I had 3 big slugs of Cytoxan at the start of October (the 5th). Almost 3 grams IV, 3 times, every 3 hours. It caused my hair to fall out, but not ALL of it. I’d estimate that about 95% of the hair on my head fell out. I still have eyebrows, still have to shave my legs and have hair on my arms. The sides of my head look bald, and the top has a little bit of inch long hair. I’ve never like having short hair, so this is going to be different for me. I wear a hat when I go out.

Lab results

I got a call from one of the nurses at my doctor’s office. All of my lab results aren’t back yet, so I don’t know my m-spike or serum IgA. I’m supposed to call back on Monday to find out. However, they did say that I’m “extremely iron deficient” and are calling in a couple of prescriptions for me to take. I’ll let you know what they are once I pick them up. Gosh. No wonder I’m tired.


Yesterday I saw the doc and had labs drawn. My Hgb was 8.5, and I’ve been feeling pretty washed out. I got a shot of Procrit, and have another one scheduled for next Wednesday. I’m hoping it will help. My platelets and WBC are in the normal range now. In fact, the platelets are higher than they’ve ever been. The doc said the RBC is slower to come back.

I also got a flu shot. If you’re supposed to be getting annual flu shots, it’s that time!

Tomorrow I’ll be able to call in to see what the other lab results are. Everything should be back except the free light chain assay.

Please consider donating to the International Myeloma Foundation. Click on the link at the left.

Happy day

The catheter is out now. I had a real shower today, without having to worry too much about getting the dressing wet. I asked if I could keep my Neostar, and the doc said it was ok. I’ll take a picture of it for you to see. Unfortunately, my camera doesn’t work, and I need a new one. I’m still feeling weird about going places without hair, but I’ll get used to it and then get a new camera!


I get to have my triple lumen catheter removed on Monday! I think I hate this thing more than anything I ever hated before. I constantly obsess about infection. I hate that it limits my ability to have a thorough shower. It kept me from swimming during the last warm days at the end of summer. It also limits the amount of exercise I can get, because perspiration makes the dressing loose. There’s only been a weekly scheduled dressing change, and that really doesn’t seem good enough.

Hair loss

Some major hair loss started yesterday. There’s so much of it that I called my neighbor, who has a salon, to see if he could shave my head for me. I think it will be better that way. I’ll know for sure at 5, when it happens!

Bone Pain

Have you ever had that bone pain from taking neupogen? I took 900 mg a day by injection for 11 days. I didn’t notice anything until about half way into it. I had a persistent headache. A few days later though, I had shooting pains in my back, ribs, sternum and hips. I have a prescription for Percocet to try to help. I’m hoping that I’ll be back to normal in a day or so.