Hello Neupogen/Zarxio- Let’s Pump Up This Immune System, plus Good News Stats

(Updated below!)

Hello everyone, and thank you for reading and following my crazy adventures. I have a Dr appointment 4.18.17, so I will update you with all my recent stats tomorrow, and tell you about my crashed immune system and getting Zarxio for 3 days in a row this past week. Thanks for checking in, and see you tomorrow with numbers!

4.18.17 UPDATE!! NEW NEWS!!

Hello again everyone- been a busy last couple of days. As I’ve written before, I often think I won’t have much to say from post to post, but sheesh am I wrong about that. Seems like so much happens in my MyelomaVille life in just 10 days, between my “On The 7’s” posts. Here’s what’s been going on:

My WBC (White Blood Count) crashed to 1.7 (Normal range = 4 -11) on April 10. Most likely a result of my 3 week standard course of Pomalyst. Unfortunately, this pill form chemo/immunotherapy wreaks havoc on my fragile immune system, so my Dr put me on 3 shots of Neupogen/Zarxio last week. Yippee, as I do just fine on these, as I am so short on WBCs (White Blood Cells), I don’t have the “crowding” and painful bone pain many report when on “granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), filgrastim”. Fortunately, this brought my WBCs up to a whopping 2.0 and then 2.8 (Normal range = 4 -11), from yesterday’s labs. My Dr was very concerned that my ANC (Neutrophils) had dipped to Neutropenic status, (I think she said .99, but I didn’t see that on my lab report), so that was another reason she offered me the Zarxio shots. I am now a “whopping” 1.28 (Normal range 1.80-7.70). When I say “whopping”, I am of course being sarcastic, as I am sadly very Immune Compromised, and try to live as “Bubble Girl” when I can lol. So that’s the “Bad News”.

 My chemo buddy Josephine-Josie and I
entertaining ourselves, the lab staff and guests with our antics.
Can you imagine being on chemo, bounced up by steroids,
and slammed down by Benadryl?! Pretty funny combination that causes
hyper-ness and sleepiness all at the same time lol

And now the GOOD NEWS:

THANK YOU Darzalex, with Pomalyst, and Dexamethasone, you are pummeling Myeloma!

From a high of 4130 to the current 527
Still abnormal, but Wow!

Even my IgG is coming up ^
My “sorority” stats are good too ^

Although I am still “Abnormal” (lol, yes in many ways), 
my M-Protein at recent labs “Is Not Detected”!
Previous M-Protein spike was as high as 3.6 in February!
and now… wow, just wow, 
Not even on the scoreboard ^
 This test and result is new to me
Will have research this one ^

 Current CBCs
A mixed bag, but not too shabby.
Now this one I will have to research too, 
as I wasn’t wanting to join the IgG Kappa sorority.
I remember reading how Darzalex affects IgG
and I was a bit concerned about this, as I’m IgA myeloma…
I previously found a reference to it here
Here I am checking in today, bright and early (for me)
at 8:50am for my Dr appointment and 6-7 hour treatment.
Today is infusion #8
Can you believe that!
How time flies when your weeks are taken up by
cancer, chemo and side effects-
Thank you Dex steroids for propping me up
and making me feel ok once a week!

 The amazing check-in ladies
Arcie and Robin.
They’ve been the smiling faces, 
wonderfully caring ladies, greeting me 
for 7 years now. Just loooove them!
And here’s my new Darzalex schedule-
protocol is weekly, for weeks 1-8, 
then reduces to every other week for weeks 9-24,
then reduces to monthly until “disease progression” or
I become “refractory” to it and have to hunt for another treatment.
My life!
Yes, this is my life. I have cancer. A cancer called Myeloma. A cancer I knew nothing about until December 30, 2009. A cancer that has taken over my personal life, stolen my career, limited me in ways that are so profound, I can’t even comprehend it. I am still in disbelief and denial. Even on treatment days, when I check in, consult with my oncologist, and check into the chemo lab for 6-7 hours, I still feel like this an out of body experience, and I am just “posing as a cancer” patient, an “imposter” going through the motions. But when I’m “invited” to the chemo chair or chemo bed, my IV needle inserted, medicine bags with my name on it hung, drip drip goes the infusion into my veins… reality of my status does slam me. When I chit chat with fellow patients and we exchange our respective “horror stories”, reality does hit me. When I “coach” new members of this “unwanted club”, and unwittingly sound so knowledgeable, reality does hit me. When I mention I have been doing this for 7 years, and will continue doing this for my “forever”, reality does hit me. Other’s shock and awe of my status, of my continuous treatments, of my incurable cancer diagnosis status, then the impact of my situation hits me.

When I view and discuss my Labs, reality hits me. When I consult with my Doctors and Chemo-Pharmacists, and they are very concerned and serious, reality does hit me. When the term “high risk” references my status, reality hits me.When my myeloma morphs, mutates and outsmarts my treatments, and my cancer stats escalate, reality does hit me and hits me hard, and I get scared. But today, I am encouraged and have new hope for additional successful months with Darza, Pom and Dex pummeling this monster within me. Myeloma patients just hope and pray our treatments continue successfully, buying precious time…, hoping the amazing medical scientists and researchers continue to develop additional meds to treat this stealthy, sneaky cancer, that will always outsmart and return with a vengeance. It’s just a matter of time…

It’s a strange and scary feeling, that my life is entirely in the hands of others, that my life depends on highly complex scientific molecular and cellular knowledge that I barely understand. It’s overwhelming that my life entirely depends on targeted chemicals coursing through my veins, joined by pills cunningly circulating in my blood stream, their mission to annihilate cancer cells, and to keep me alive. Imagine wondering if this internal chemical warfare will last months, or a month. Imagine wondering, always wondering, treatment to treatment, blood test to blood test, if my personal “Team Pummel Myeloma” can outsmart and out chemical myeloma. Imagine living day to day, wondering… wondering when the myeloma roller coaster will jerk me in that “other direction”.

Yet, I remain hopeful always, as I Want To Live… for a long time! 

Live happy,
live well, and make a difference somewhere, somehow, with someone or something
as often as you can