Category: Cancer

Velcade and Doxil Side Effects

Here’s some advice I got about Velcade/Doxil from one of the researchers involved in early trials. I thought I’d pass it on.

Myeloma treatment with DoxilWith the Velcade and Doxil, have they started you on oral Vit B6? When we used to run the Phase I study of that combination, we have recommended pyridoxine (Vit B6) 200 mg by mouth daily. I think this is even over the counter but you can definitely let your local doctor be aware that you are taking this. This drug is to prevent the hand-foot syndrome which is a potential side-effect of the Doxil.

There is also the risk of neuropathy with Velcade. A patient once told me that the Velcade neuropathy (which is more of pain) is different than the Thalidomide/Revlimid neuropathy (which is more of the numbness and tingling sensation). As of this time, there is no approved treatment for neuropathy or formal studies comparing all the drugs that are being used to alleviate neuropathy. We have been using either Neurontin or Lidocaine patch.

Lab results after first cycle of Velcade + Doxil

Here are the before and after lab results. They’re from different labs, so they’re like comparing green apples to red apples, but there’s enough of a difference to indicate that Velcade + Doxil is working for me. Next time, the blood will be sent to Horizon.

12/20/2006 (Quest)
Total protein: 8.3 g/dL (ref range: 6.0-8.3 g/dL)
M-spike 1: 1.2 g/dL
M-spike 2: 0.4 g/dL
IgA: 2116 mg/dL (ref range: 81-463 mg/dL)

1/31/2007 (Horizon)
Total protein: 7.6 g/dL (ref range: 6.0-8.3 g/dL)
M-spike 1: 0.75 g/dL
M-spike 2: 0.32 g/dL
IgA: 1350 mg/dL (ref range: 68-378 g/dL)
IgG: 354 mg/dL (ref range: 694-1618 g/dL)
IgM: 21 mg/dL (ref range: 60-263 mg/dL)


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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.


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.

Bone Marrow Biopsy

I had a bone marrow biopsy yesterday. I got one of these, and decided to take a picture of it so you could see what the needle looks like. This time I had an IV of 2 mg ativan. I can’t say that it helps much, but it sure doesn’t hurt. I don’t know what all these parts are for, but here they are!

Goldenberg Snare Coil (Bone Marrow Biopsy Needle)

Manufacturer’s Home Page. This includes some video demonstrations of the Goldenberg Snarecoil in use.

Labs from 30 January 2003

Drawn: 01/30/2003

white cell count 6.8 10^3/uL 4.5 – 11.0
red cell count 3.96 10^6/ul 3.80 – 5.10
hemoglobin 13.0 g/dl 11.5 – 15.0
hematocrit 37.5 % 34.0 – 44.0
MCV 94.8 fl 82.0 – 101.0
MCH 32.9 pg 26.0 – 33.0
MCHC 34.7 g/dl 32.0 – 36.0
RDW 12.6 % 11.0 – 14.0
PLATELET CT 308 10^3/ul 140 – 400
MPV 6.8 fl 7.8 – 11.0
CREATININE 1.00 mg/dl 0.40 – 1.50
CALCIUM 9.1 mg/dl 8.4 – 10.6
ALKALINE PHOSPHATASE 166 iu/l 50 – 150
SGOT (AST) 27 iu/l 15 – 40
LDH 83 iu/l 100 – 190
COLOR yellow yellow
CLARITY slightly cloudy clear
SPECIFIC GRAVITY 1.010 1.005 – 1.030
pH 5.0 5.0 – 7.5
PROTEIN Negative Negative/trace
GLUCOSE Negative Negative
KETONES Negative Negative
URINE BILIRUBIN Negative Negative