Author: Beth

I was diagnosed with MM in January of 2003. I underwent various treatments, including thalidomide/dex, revlimid/dex, dex alone, a clinical trial of CNTO 328, and Velcade, Doxil and dex until late August, 2007, when I had an autologous stem cell transplant after high dose melphalan. I experienced what's known as a very good partial response (VGPR). Since then, my myeloma has been stable.


I’m up to 10mg of coumadin a day now. The 8mg dose got my INR to 1.20, and Dr. Orlowski wants it to be between 2 and 3 (closer to 2). I’ll be tested again on Wednesday to see how the 10mg dose is doing. I’m taking coumadin as a preventative for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a possibility for anyone taking thalidomide. There’s more information about DVT at

I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. After a few days, it takes its toll, so today I took a xanax about noon and then slept from 1:00 until 5:00. It was fantastic! I fell asleep with the TV on and the notebook computer open on my stomach.

I just remembered something kind of funny. When I saw Dr. Orlowski, he asked me if I vacuumed my ears. Huh? He said I had the cleanest ears he ever saw.


My IBM Thinkpad crashed in a big way yesterday. I think it’s the hard drive, because it failed to boot. The problem had been developing over the last several weeks, and I ignored it. I did manage to back up some files to CD, but lost all my mail from the last year and a half. I tried to do a “product recovery,” but that wouldn’t even work. The machine just shut down at every attempt. I’ll get a new hard drive for the machine and either use it at the office or sell it. I had to buy another notebook, but in a town like this, there’s not a lot to choose from on short notice. I ended up getting an HP pavilion ze5375. It’s bigger and clunkier than what I’m used to, but I’ll adjust.


If you haven’t yet donated to the MMRF (Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation), you can go online and make your contribution.

MMRF – Donate Online
Fill out the form and be sure to choose “ConnectNC” as the Gift Designation.

Or visit th IMF and make a donation HERE.

Thank you for your help!


My well water doesn’t meet state drinking water standards because of low pH. I’m having it corrected soon. Culligan will be here Monday to install a treatment system, including a tank to correct the pH, a conditioner and a reverse osmosis filter. When it’s all done, I’ll be able to drink the water at the kitchen sink and do away with the bottled water I’ve been having delivered for the last several years.

Friends and family

I want my friends and family to know how grateful I am for their support. Thanks to E for calling several times a day, and to M for checking in at least once a week. Thank you G for taking the time to stay in touch even though your mom passed away. Thanks to D for coming to see me and calling when you can. Thanks S for the email and coming to see me in a few weeks.

Thanks to all my family for tolerating my moods and helping with the things I’m not supposed to do myself anymore. Thanks for driving me to appointments and thanks for getting things for me when I’m sick.

It’s only been 5 months since I was diagnosed, but you have all been there for me before and haven’t abandoned me. I appreciate all that you do, and am forever in your debt.


I took my dex last night and fell asleep without the help of any other drugs. I also didn’t have any trouble staying asleep. This morning I have that speedy feeling I usually get with dexamethasone: rapid heart rate, shakiness, etc. I hope I can remain calm today. One day last week I really lost control and had an explosion of rage.

I have an appointment at the Coumadin clinic today. I take mine in the the mornings so it won’t interfere with my cancer drugs, which I take at night.

No appointments today

Red Tea
I have no appointments today, and am over the effects of my weekly dex pulse, so I am going to enjoy the day. There are things I can do at the office, errands I can run and things to do around the house. My brother has been here fixing things and taking care of the yard, so there’s not a lot to do here. I’ll just start the day with some red tea.

When you have a disease that has the potential to kill you much sooner than you expected to go, you start thinking about things differently. You also think about things that never occurred to you before at all. I find myself being envious of older people. I wonder if they know how lucky they are to be 60 or 70 years old? Possibly not. I never appreciated my own good fortune. I took it for granted. The funny thing is, I now consider myself lucky! I even said that to my doctor yesterday. I am lucky that my MM was found before I became very sick or had broken bones. I’m lucky that I have a supportive family and staff at work. There are a lot of things to be grateful for.


Dr. Orlowski cleared me to use Zometa again, so I had a 30 minute infusion this morning. I hate having a needle in my hand, but that seems to be their favorite place for it. It makes it difficult to do anything. I normally take my Palm Pilot and play solitaire. Today I played left-handed.

This afternoon I need to go to the coumadin clinic and then to see my primary care physician for a check up. He just likes to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. He’s a good guy. I have him to thank for finally finding out what was wrong with me.