Category: Life

Life

Tomorrow

Tomorrow I’ll check in at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center at 9 am. I’ll have blood drawn. At 10 I’ll go to have a Neostar triple lumen catheter put in. I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for the rest of the day, except I’ll have some Cytoxan. On Thursday I’ll have some more Cytoxan. On Friday I’ll go home. I’m NOT looking forward to this. It better be worth it.

In memory of Chris Hollyer

I received a note from one of Chris’s friends in New Zealand today that Chris has passed on. It appears Chris had a heart attack, and that’s all I know at this time. Please consider making a donation to the IMF so we can find a cure for MM and they can continue to provide excellent services for patients and caregivers. He would be happy for that, for all of us who are still here. There’s a link to make a donation to the left.

Unfortunately, treatments for MM can cause damage to vital organs, including the heart. MM itself can cause damage to organs and systems. Please make sure to get regular checkups, and include visits to the cardiologist. In fact, a recent study showed that patients treated with a specific drug called doxorubicin can experience a decline in heart health over the years. Please keep yourselves healthy in preparation for a cure!

Cardiologist

Do you know how hard it is to get an appointment with a cardiologist in a town full of old people? I faxed the report from Wake Forest to my local cardiologist. He was someone I saw a few times starting in 1998 when I was experiencing PVCs. They’re benign, but annoying. They pop up whenever I have caffeine, sugar, don’t get enough sleep, have too much stress or even before I catch a cold or something. I’ve had to give up caffeine.

Anyway, I have an appointment with him on the 25th of September. I’ll see what he says. I’ll just feel better having my heart checked out every now and then. We don’t know what all these meds could be doing to us.

Loads of tests before SCT

I had a pulmonary function test (PFT), echocardiogram, bone marrow biopsy and tons of blood drawn yesterday. I know I did well on the PFT. I use about 98% of my lung capacity and the other parts of the test seemed to have good results too. I won’t have any results of the bone marrow for some days. I’m not sure what all tests will be run on the marrow sample. I’m going to say that this one wasn’t the worst one I’ve had. That was at Duke. It did hurt, and still does. They didn’t use the type of needle I like. My ECG showed some heart abnormalities, so I’m going to see my cardiologist here to find out what he thinks of the report. If you happen to know what apical-septum and apical-inferior hypokinesis are, let me know. And if you know that, maybe you can tell me what these remarks mean too: left atrium size moderately dilated and left ventricle size mildly dilated. I also have a trace of tricuspid regurgitation. I’ll post my findings after I see the doctor. I would imagine they’re still going to let me have the chemo. That’s a week from now. I asked if I was going to lose my hair and the nurse told me yes. I kind of thought that would happen, but wasn’t sure.

Tomorrow’s the day

Tomorrow I will be going to Wake Forest at an obscenely early hour to have some tests done, such as pulmonary function, bone marrow aspirate, xrays and muga scan. I’m not looking forward to any of it. I’d like to just remain asleep until it’s all over!

I’m a killer

I was outside today sweeping the pool deck and I saw a lizard running towards me. My immediate response was to start jumping up and down and screaming. Somehow, the timing was just wrong, and the poor little lizard ran under my shoe while I was in the downward phase of hopping. I managed to kill the poor thing and creep myself out in a big way. I had to call a friend to come over and clean the lizard off the cement and the bottom of my shoe, which I had to abandon out there. It’ll be one of those things that sticks in my mind for days now. :(

Why not donate to the International Myeloma Foundation? It’s fast, easy and tax deductible. Plus, you’ll be helping thousands of Americans and others from around the world. CLICK HERE.

Aches

I had an infusion of Zometa today and, as always, my left hand and arm ache. I didn’t get to have the IV in my hand like I usually do. The nurse said there’s just too much scarring now and she couldn’t get it threaded. We used my left arm instead. I’ll give that good vein in my left hand a long rest. It’s no wonder. I must have been poked in that hand at least 50 times.

If you get the chance, see the film A Lion in the House, which may be on your local PBS station on Independent Lens.

Dr. P.

I took mom to see Dr. P. today. I was glad we went. It’s crazy. She hasn’t spoken to an oncologist at all since this started. Your doc sends you straight to a surgeon, who sends you for radiation if you need it. Wouldn’t you think it would make sense to talk to someone who knows cancer really well?

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