Day 29 – Update – October 12 2011

Jani drove me to UCH in Aurora, Colorado for my follow-up appointment with Dr. Han Myint. We went early, so we could have a chance to visit with another multiple myeloma patient, Shawn Egle, who had her stem cell transplant yesterday, making today Day 1 for her. It was wonderful to see Shawn and she is doing well. However, she had have an x-ray procedure and they arrived to take her down for it just minutes after we arrived. So, Jani and I walked along with the wheelchair transport for Shawn to the basement where radiology is located so we could visit a few minutes longer.

Got my blood drawn, the dressing over my Trifusion Hickman Catheter changed (needs to be changed weekly), and my Bard Power Port flushed for the month (if not used, needs to be flushed and heparin locked once each month).

Jani and I checked in early for my 4:05 PM appointment with Dr. Myint and to our surprise they took us back to an exam room about 20 minutes early. Nurse Practitioner Diana Vurcurevich met with us and examined me. Then, Dr. Myint came in and joined us. Both Dr. Myint and Diana said my nausea and epigastric pain should have resolved by now since the transplant. Easy for them to say….I’m still suffering….We went over my medications and they said I could double my dose of Prilosec to 40 mg twice a day along with 150 mg of Zantac twice a day (recommended that I take the Prilosec and Zantac together on an empty stomach 1 hour before I eat. They also said I could take liquid Mylanta in between.

We discussed the possibility of having an EGD scope (swallow the camera test), but when I told them that I just had an EGD on May19 2011 with normal results (nothing visualized, no H. Pylori and no Celiac Disease) they decided a scope was not necessary at this time.

My blood values are okay and unremarkable. My platelets are in the normal range at 174 (norm is 150-400), my hemoglobin is a tad lower than a week ago at 11.5 from 11.8, but okay, and my white blood cell count is slightly lower at 2.6 from 2.8 a week ago. Dr. Myint says this is all normal, but he does expect my white blood cell count to rise to normal limits.

My ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) is fine at 1.5 – just need to be cautious and stay away from groups of people and to wear my mask when I am around people. That 3.1 value on Oct 1st is a neuopogen effect from an injection on Sept 29 2011.
I asked Dr. Myint why I’m having a bone marrow biopsy at Day 60 vs Day 100 and he said it is because of my cytogenics (bad DNA findings) and he wants to see if the stem cell transplant put my cytogenic findings into remission. If the bone marrow on November 2 2011 is clear of cytogenic findings, then I will not need a 2nd transplant. However, if abnormal cytogenics are found, then I’ll have the 2nd transplant mid-November. Dr. Myint reminded me that the stem cell transplants are not a cure for my multiple myeloma – just a method to get my myeloma into remission. After the 1 or 2 transplants, I will have to be on maintenance chemotherapy of Velcade, Decadron, and Revlimid for 2-3 YEARS~! Oh Joy~
Jani didn’t have to wear a mask, but she wanted to. I have to wear a mask any time I am at UCH for any thing.

They decided that I didn’t need to return to see them for 2 weeks. So, Jani and I went back up to the BIC (blood draw area) and asked the nurse to give us the supplies to change my Trifusion Hickman Catheter at home next week, since the dressing needs to be changed weekly. The nurse reminded us that it needs to be done with sterile technique and we assured her that we could get it done.