Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welcome to my new Myeloma Blog

Welcome to my new blog site. I have relocated the blog here primarily because support for my old site from Apple will be discontinued as soon as they move to the iCloud format. Additionally, I will be able to post to this site from any device, whereas my previous blog could only be administered from a specific Mac. That means I will be able to blog from the hospital throughout the transplant. It should also be a lot easier for readers to post comments.

The old site is still active and can be accessed at Ed's Blog - 2006 - 2011

Yesterday, I spent the day at Cedars Sinai receiving an extensive pre-treatment physical. The physical serves two purposes, 1) the insurance company requires it prior to authorizing the procedures and 2) it provides an indication that I'm healthy enough to handle the physical strain of this treatment.

And I am.

The day consisted of a rather intense series of pulmonary tests, an EKG, Echo-cardiogram, and blood and urine tests. I also met with a social worker who addressed the emotional and financial aspects of all of this and advised me how much support I will need from caregivers. Hillary attended this session along with me, which made me very happy. When it was over, the social worker commented "you're easy!"

I also met with Laura, my transplant coordinator. Laura will be the point person for all things transplant. I don't think I could have designed a better person for this job. She is quite on top of it. She actually authored the series of manuals that are given to transplant patients to prepare them for the procedures. And she is kind and empathetic and pretty and seems entirely dedicated to the people she is assigned to. So I have a guardian angel and I'm sure you will be hearing more about her as we go along.

The schedule is now nailed down and follows the format outlined in my last post (on the old blog). Next milestone will be January 12, when I will check in overnight for a heavy dose of cytoxan. This will herald the heavy chemo stage of the treatment. It will kill a lot of the nasty myeloma cells, but will also kill other rapidly producing cells, including those that grow my hair. So, it is expected that I'll be pretty smooth in about two weeks time, which just happens to correspond with my birthday.

Having had my first exposure to Cedars, I'm feeling less apprehensive and, oddly, a bit exhilarated in anticipation of this upcoming adventure.