Living with multiple myeloma: I have problems remembering

Week 5 chemo complete: Remembering, recognition, and recall challengesMemories slipping away

Chemo treatment and living with multiple myeloma + anemia have reduced my cognitive abilities to remember things, recognize people, and recall information. I rely on calendars digital notes, and memory cues to help me through each day. These strengths that once felt solid as a rock, are fading away.

Like sand slipping through my fingers.

Last Sunday I completed my 1st week of Cycle 2. On March 9th, I had a Complete Blood Count. It is a common blood test (1 test tube) I have every 2 weeks that examines my general health during chemo treatment.

Hematology Profile
Date WBC Hemoglobin Platelet Count Neutrophils
Reference Range 4.0 – 11.0 135 – 170 150 – 400 2.0 – 8.0
Mar 6.8 127 467 5.2
Feb 5.5 133 191 4.6
Jan 4.4 129 206 2.3

The results showed that my white blood cells, neutrophils, blood platelets, and hemoglobin were all within/almost within normal range. This is good, it means that there isn’t a negative reaction to treatment. Each month I have a more comprehensive blood test that measure my cancer levels. My next one is on Monday. Last week, I had the hiccups occasionally, a side effect of the steroid dexamethasone, but they went away after 10-15 minutes. Each week I’m feeling progressively more tired, but that is to be expected as my weight increases and with the cumulative effect of treatment.

March Complete Blood Count (CBC) testWaiting for my blood test

I enjoy taking self-portraits about my life as a multiple myeloma patient. I feel that I can provide awareness for anyone touched by cancer that may be interested in my chemo experiences.

To recap: I have Multiple Myeloma and anemia, a rare blood cancer. It is incurable, but treatable. From February to November 2013, I received Velcade chemo through weekly in-hospital injections as an outpatient. From February 9th 2015, I am on Pomalyst and dexamethasone chemo treatment (Pom/dex).

Photos related to my Pomalyst chemo treatment can be viewed in my flickr album.

Sixth and WillowJune 2014: Sixth and Willow

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