Author: Beth

Warm weather and shoeless feet

When summer comes around, the first thing I want to do is run around without shoes on.  I hate wearing shoes, and the PN has made most shoes pretty uncomfortable for me.  A few years ago, before I went in for my stem cell transplant for the treatment of my multiple myeloma, I was walking by Fungal infection toenailthe pool and I stubbed my toe on something. Toe stubbing is a more frequent occurrence for me now that I have neuropathy.  It’s hard to keep track of just exactly where my feet are.  Anyway, aside from hurting like the dickens, the toe injury included some broken nails. I thought nothing of it.

A few weeks later, I had high dose chemo, which wiped out my immune system.  In no time, I noticed that my toes were discolored and the nails on two of my toes were getting flaky. It was the weirdest thing I ever saw.  Even the transplant doctors were puzzled about the shade of purple my toes had become.  I’m including a picture so you can see what it looked like, although it’s not at all appealing.  It just might be something you encounter, so it could prove useful at some point.  I apologize for the yuckiness of the picture, but there’s no way you could imagine how purple my toes were without seeing them.  I eventually pulled off the nails, which grew back rather quickly.  Everything was better by the time I went home from the transplant clinic.

The lesson?  If you have neuropathy and a weakened immune system, wear shoes.

It feels like winter’s over

Buddy at Martin Park Southern PinesBuddy and I went to Martin Park in Southern Pines yesterday for a walk. He really had a great time, as you can see.  Today is warmer and sunnier! I’ve been doing some chores in the house, but every chance I get, I’m going outside to soak up some sun.  the forecast for the upcoming week indicates high temperatures in the 60s and even 70!  The lows are creeping up too, with night time temperatures in the 40s and 50s.  My favorite time of year is approaching.  I predict that I’ll be getting the pool ready pretty soon.

If you’re looking for an interesting movie to see, get The Informant!

Myeloma Planet – the list of every myeloma blog in the world

There’s a new list of myeloma blogs, which will make it easier to keep up on your favorite patient and caregiver blogs. It’s not really every myeloma blog in the world, but I’m trying.

If you want your blog to appear on the list, get in touch with me. Please know that  I can only add blogs that have an RSS feed and are written by patients or their caregivers.

Visit the planet » Myeloma blogs

Feeling “ungood”

Zometa IVI’m feeling ungood today.  Maybe even part way doubleplusungood. I had Zometa yesterday, so this could explain some of it. I usually feel a little bit flu-ish the day after a Zometa infusion. I’ve had a few days of feeling sneezy and nose-runny, and I feel very tired.  I think I just need to get several nights of good sleep.

Here’s a picture of the Zometa IV to satisfy your curiosity. I have 250 ml saline with it, over about 45 minutes. My onc now has wireless, so I took a computer with me yesterday so I could get a little work done.

Latest electrophoresis, proteins and free light chains

Here are my latest results.

Specific Proteins

Test Name    Result       AB    Normal Range   Units
IGG          466          L     600-1700       MG/DL
IGM          31           L     35-290         MG/DL
IGA          408          H     40-400         MG/DL

Electrophoresis

The SPE pattern demonstrates two bands of restricted mobility in the gamma region.

Immunofix, Serum

Monoclonal component typed as IgA Lambda. Concentration of monoclonal protein determined by serum protein electrophoresis is 0.4 g/dL.
Monoclonal component typed as IgA Lambda. Concentration of monoclonal protein determined by serum protein electrophoresis is 0.3 g/dL.
*Suggestive of a monoclonal component typed as IgG Kappa. Concentration of monoclonal protein is too low to accurately quantify.

* This is new! Previously, I’ve only ever had just two m-spikes. That’s not enough?  I vaguely remember seeing this on one other report, so maybe it’s something that comes and goes.  In any case, it’s not enough to measure, so I’m not alarmed.

Serum Free Light Chain Assay

Test Name                  Result     AB  Normal Range    Units
Kappa Free, Serum          0.1380     L   0.33-1.94       mg/dL
Lambda Free, Serum         1.24           0.57-2.63       mg/dL
K/L FLC Ratio              0.1113     L   0.26-1.65       mg/dL

Still, no myeloma treatment for over two years.

MRIs and Mutliple Myeloma and gadolinium, oh my!

Margaret’s blog has a few posts written about the use of gadolinium as a contrast agent.  I think it’s important for MM patients to know about this.  You can the read posts at her blog.  These are all the posts containing the word, “gadolinium.”
»The gadolinium used in MRIs makes myeloma cells proliferate

In other news, there’s not much going on.  Last week I got to participate in a local radio show with two of Moore County’s finest, Detective Sgt Donnie Shingleton and Sgt Tim Cameron, of the Moore County Sheriff’s Department.  The topic was home security, which included discussions about fraud.  My part was Internet fraud.  My words didn’t really come out right!

Ticket to Ride by Ed GormanI start a creative non-fiction class tomorrow, thanks to my sister, Rachel.  She’s encouraged me to git me some more learnin’ so’s I kin write better.

Monica and I are taping for another radio program this morning.  I’ll let you know how that one turns out.

How many of you bought Ed Gorman’s new book? If you haven’t gotten it yet, now’s a good time.  » Ticket to Ride by Ed Gorman.   He wrote something to me on the dedication page!