Another year

I can’t believe it. Another year is almost over.

I haven’t written much in the last several days. A lot’s been going on, but I haven’t had time to write. And, my typing finger is sore from work. :)

I had an appointment with Don Gabriel, a transplant doc at UNC. He’s a very nice guy, and I liked him instantly. I’ve been researching a potential problem he brought up, but have discovered that it’s not a problem at all. Some doctors believe that, to have a successful stem cell transplant, the cells must be harvested when the % of plasma cells in the bone marrow is below a certain number (like 20%). Mine were at 30% at the time of my harvest. I was very worried that I might have to go through the harvest process again, but I put in an SOS to the IMF and was assured that I’ll be ok to go ahead without a second stem cell collection by members of the scientific advisory board. Now my questions are: Do I have to have more treatment before the SCT? Can I use just melphalan alone, since cytoxan didn’t have any effect on my myeloma?

I’m scheduled to begin Velcade + Doxil and possibly dexamethasone on January 9th, 2007. Of course, I’d be happy to find out that I didn’t need additional treatment before the high dose chemo, but I’m guessing it’s not likely. It’s all getting closer, and I’m nervous and afraid.

In the mean time, I’m going to try to forget that I have cancer. I’m just going to enjoy this treatment-free time.

Oh! For those of you who wonder about this… when you stop dexamethasone, you do lose weight (if you gained it from the steroids). Without trying, in my case, which is cool. I still have the moon face. I wonder how long it takes for that to go away? Anyway, I lost just under 25 lbs so far. I’m guessing the chemo and the SCT will melt away the pounds as well, but I don’t recommend it!

Amneris Solano, thanks for the very nice article you wrote in the Fayetteville Observer. Thanks, Matt Moriarty, for the article you wrote for the Pilot. I hope we’re successful in raising the money we need for the IMF.


  1. chapbin

    Dear Beth,
    During steroid treatment I had the Jack in The Box Head but it went away fairly soon after I stopped taking them. As to the weight gain, I put on 45 pounds before chemo and lost 40 of the first 2 weeks after chemo and SCT. So I think it might be best to carry a little extra weight into chemo because so much can be lost so fast. My transplant was not all that bad. I only had one and I guess now the standard treatment is two. But that was 2 1/2 years ago and the treatments change so fast its hard to keep up. Good luck with it all, I had my SCT 2 1/2 years ago and have had no treatments since then, just monthly blood work.

  2. Gina

    Hi Beth-
    Weight to lose is to your advantage in some cases – don’t sweat it!
    You are beautiful!
    Velcade has been part of mom’s chemo for 4-5 treatments and she is experiencing what we understand to be temporary neuropathy. Some short term dizziness/blackouts.
    No other side effects.
    Everyone’s treatments are as unique as their thumbprint, so, keep moving forward.


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