Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day +47

It is now 47 days since I received my transplant. I’m very pleased with my progress. I’m back to work as of last week. I’m not suffering any symptoms of the treatment….my nausea has gone away. The only time I get nauseous now is when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror (props to Rodney Dangerfield). I met with Dr. V last week and he commented that he my recovery has been “impressive”. All my blood tests are back in the normal range. My new/old immune system is functioning well….although I have managed to contract a rather minor chest cold. But it hasn’t been any more concerning or problematic than any other cold I’ve had in the past.

I’m not currently on any medications to treat the myeloma. This is mostly very nice, although I am starting to experience stiffness in my joints….probably due to steroid withdrawal. I went through this before, and while it is noticeable, it is far from debilitating.

My stamina seems to be improving. I was able to shag tennis balls with Susan on Saturday for about 45 minutes without experiencing much fatigue.

Next step…bone marrow biopsy scheduled for April 10. This will reveal how effective the therapy has been. If no active myeloma cells are detected, which I expect to the case, I will be considered in complete remission. This, regrettably, is not the same as being cured. But it is the best possible outcome and if things stay that way for a many years, we will have achieved our goal for having undergone this therapy. I’ll let you know when the results come back.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Bloom of Spring

Pleased to report that I am sprouting some mustache hair. It's not much, but its a start. My dome remains hairless, but I'm anticipating some new arrivals soon. Most symptoms from the BMT ordeal are now gone. I still get dizzy if I exert myself too much, but that is about it. Queasy stomach is now resolved. So, at this point, it is just waiting for my stamina and my coiffure to return.

I meet with Dr. V tomorrow and am expecting that I'll get the green light to return to work. If so, I'll be back on the job on Thursday.

Best regards to Sheri in Idaho who is in the middle of her BMT. Hope all is going well and continues to do so.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Killing Time

It's a beautiful sunny day in Southern California. I went out for my daily constitutional today. I'm walking about 2 miles per day now. I usually start at the Manhattan Beach pier and walk to the border of Hermosa Beach and then back. I'm hoping this will condition me for more strenuous exercise in the near future.

I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my time-filling strategies would be to lock into some TV series that I never connected with. I know I'll be killing some sacred cows here, but here is how it played out. I started by watching Breaking Bad. Everyone raves about it. I got through a season and a half and found it to be a bit too jolting for my delicate soul. I moved on to Arrested Development, two episodes convinced me that it was too silly for me to get deeply involved with (strange evaluation from someone who can watch Three Stooges episodes dozens of times and reveres Caddyshack as high art). Last few days, I locked into Mad Men and I'm liking that a lot. I like the story lines, the acting and am probably most drawn to the retro-nostalgia aspect of it. I'm admittedly very stuck in the '60s. Further evidence....I finished reading 11/22/63, Steven King's new book which involves a time traveler going back in time to stop the JFK assassination. I blew through 800 pages of this. Normally that would take me about a year and 1/2 reading two pages every night before I fall asleep. I've never read a Steven King book before, but found this one addictive.

Health wise...nothing much has changed. I still get periods of mild queasiness. I don't get fatigued much anymore, but then again I'm not doing much to tire me out. I'm still rather fussy about my food. My friend Bridgette has concluded that I'm pregnant.

Tomorrow, I'm thinking I might try riding an exercise bike to see how long I can manage that. I've been a bit reluctant to do this....mostly because I'm conditioned to be a germ-phobe and I consider gyms to be petrie dishes for fungus and other yucky stuff. But my plan is to wipe the bike off with OCD gusto before I start to ride. If it goes well, I may keep doing it for a few days and then see how I do riding a real bike on flat ground.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Doing fine

Sorry if I got anybody worried by not positing for awhile. I didn't post because I didn't have much to report. It's now two weeks since I've been home and overall things are going very well. I still experience some intermittent queasiness, but it is less frequent. My stomach is still somewhat fussy about what I eat. Comfort foods are the most welcome. I'm not too open to sweets or cooked greens (like kale or spinach). On the positive side, I've suspended the anti-nausea meds. I feel less fatigued than I did two weeks ago, but I'm unable to do much more than walk for exercise. I tried hitting some tennis balls with Susan twice over the weekend, but was only able to do so for about 10 minutes before I got dizzy and had to stop. This was somewhat discouraging. I am getting a bit loco staying home with limited activity. I pass the time reading, walking on the sidewalk near the beach, running errands, and meeting friends for lunch. Not a bad life, really, but I would like to get back to where I can do more. But these are minor complaints. Overall, I'm ahead of the curve on recovery and expect that I'll be much closer to resuming normal activities by this time next week. As for my prognosis....there really is nothing to report. I'm assuming everything is fine and we will know for sure in about 3 months when I do my first post-transplant bone marrow biopsy. When I was drafting this post in my head I was toying with the phrase "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired." Besides that sounding like a corny country song title, it really overstates the case. I'm mostly feeling very good and am getting anxious to get back to work, ride my bike, and eat my normal diet. Patience is not one of my better virtues.