Month: January 2007

End of first cycle

I had Velcade this morning, ending cycle one. I have next week off, and then will start cycle two. I guess the week off is included in the cycle, since they’re 3-week cycles. A couple hours after, I get a bad headache. I actually have to take percocet for the headache.

Kathy Griffin is making the rounds on TV this week. She was on Ugly Betty last night and the View this morning. Normally I don’t watch daytime TV, but I have TiVo record anything with Kathy in it automatically. She’s just too funny to pass up. If there are people or things that make you laugh, take full advantage of them. Laughing is good for us!

First Doxil

I had my first ever dose of Doxil this morning. I didn’t have any reactions, and that was a good thing. I also had Velcade, and 10 mg of decadron and some Aloxi. I did get a bad headache again. I don’t know what the cause is. It could be the dex, velcade or aloxi.It doesn’t matter what the cause is. I have to take something to get rid of it.

Hats

As you know, I lost my hair after I had Cytoxan. Since then, I’ve been wearing a baseball cap to keep my head warm. Also, let’s face it. I look terrible bald. Here’s the thing though. I only have one hat. It’s getting dirty, and I need a replacement. Here’s my offer: Send me your company’s logo hat and send $25 (tax deductible) to the IMF, and I’ll wear the hat every day until I get another replacement! I’ll even post a picture so you can see your hat fulfilling its lifelong ambition of covering the head of a cancer patient. What more could a hat wish for? If your company wants to sponsor my bald head, please leave a comment for me and I’ll get in touch with you.

When you’re feeling really run down…

EPO Batteries

Yes, I really have some Procrit batteries. They came with a tape and tape player Procrit provided for a time to cancer patients to help teach relaxation techniques. I’m not sure why they needed the branded batteries.

Feel free to use the image, but I must ask that you not link to it (it messes up my stats). Instead, save the image and upload it to your own server.

Had my first dose of Velcade today

I went to Dr. Peterson’s office for my first dose of Velcade. Joyce took a picture on my phone, but I have NO idea how to get it off of there. Nothing I’ve tried has worked. I’m going to be one of those people who has to go into the phone store to ask for help.

Before I had the Velcade, I had some saline, 10 mg of IV dex and some Aloxi. If you know me, you know that I make them do everything they can to make sure I don’t vomit. I have emetophobia, and, for me, vomiting is almost as bad as dying. If I feel icky, I have compazine and ativan here at home to take. I do have a headache. I think that’s from the Aloxi. I kind of have an acidy feeling in my stomach. I had that with Cytoxan. I think I’m really prone to that. Even Zometa gives me indigestion. Anyway, so far, there’s nothing to report. I’ll go back Friday for more Velcade and some Doxil. I’ll keep going for up to 8 cycles if it works.

Effectiveness of bortezomib (Velcade)

Until I just did some reading, I hadn’t realized that Velcade doesn’t work for about 2/3 of us. I have been told by my doctor, however, that it does seem to work especially well for IgA MM patients (I’m one of those).

“Bortezomib seems to work in about one-third of patients who use it, but we have not been able to predict which ones,” says the study’s lead author, Leif Bergsagel, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic Arizona. “We now have identified a group that will likely respond because these nine mutations seem to be present in at least 25 percent of newly diagnosed patients.” From http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2006-rst/3817.html

The combination of Velcade + Doxil does have better results in people who respond to it. Based on a study conducted at UNC and other places, Dr. Orlwoski reports, “the combination group’s median time to progression – the time interval between the response to treatment and the time the disease starts to show evidence of growing or recurring – was 9.3 months, while those on Velcade alone progressed after 6.5 months.”
From: http://www.unchealthcare.org/site/newsroom/news/2006/Dec/myeloma. One question I have to remember to ask about this is, is this TTP after the 8 21-day cycles of treatment?

I still haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to add IV dexamethasone to the Velcade/Doxil regimen. I have until Tuesday to decide.

I hate to admit this, but I’m envious of the people who have remissions from their first line of treatment. Any treatment, to be honest. I’m secretly hoping for such good results from Velcade that I’ll decide to wait for relapse to have an SCT. What? It could happen!

The “eyes” have it

I had an appointment with an eye doctor (MD) Friday. It had been almost 4 years since I last had my eyes checked. It’s no real surprise that I have developed a cataract at the back of the lense of one of my eyes. Long term use of high doses of steroids can do that. In fact, she said that they can grow rather quickly. If I go back on steroids again I need to have my eyes checked more frequently. I’m really not concerned about it. So NOT concerned, that I can’t even remember which eye she said was affected. It’s just another one of those things that makes me feel about twice my age.

It was such a nice day today that I worked out in the yard in shorts and a short sleeved shirt. I hope the rest of the winter is this mild.