Still Hangin’ in There…….

I went to the doctor’s office on Thursday (2 days ago) to receive my 2nd injection of the IV chemo drug Velcade. I was so terrified because of what had happened to me after the first injection, and so so so did not want to end up hospitalized this week…

Back in my Own Bed…..

Was released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon, after arriving there about 11:00 AM on Thursday. The Readers Digest condensed version of what happened: Received my 1st velcade infusion on Friday the 10th. Felt ok and then as I had written, started …

ICU Day 28

28 days. Andre has been on the ventilator and in the ICU for 28 days. Today is probably the lowest I’ve felt since the initial diagnosis, and my heart is close to breaking. I know I’ll catch my bearing again to take better care of Andre and my other r…

IN THE HOSPITAL RIGHT NOW….

I really don’t have the energy to write down all that has transpired in the last few days, so maybe I’ll be feeling better in the next few days and let ya’ll know what’s going on. Bottom line…….I have been getting worse over the last week (since th…

Where’s the Fever coming From?.

I made my last post on saturday, having had my 1st velcade infusion on friday, as I just wasn’t feeling well enough mentally and physically to write anything on friday right after my doctors visit, and after having such a shitty day. What I neglected (or really just chemo brain forgot to tell you)…when I go through the “regular routine” of weight, blood draw, blood pressure and temp, I was surprised to see I was running a low grade temp of 99.2 that day. Not a REAL biggie, but certainly something to watch for sure, when you have no immune system to speak of. Of course my first thought was….UT- OH……here’s the possible start of another UTI coming my way. Now generally speaking, for a normal person 99.2 is a slight indication that something may coming my way, but on top of that, my usual temp runs a bit lower than the normal persons…I generally run about 97.8, so that , for me is even more of an indiciation that something may be going on with me. Several visits ago, Dr. Nair had written me an antibiotic for 2 weeks with a 2 week refill, just in case I felt something coming on and before I could get to him, and of course things like this always crop up on a friday or the weekend, when you can’t get to the doctors office before monday! So when I came home from my fridays infusion, I started on my levaquin (antibiotic), just in case I was starting a UTI and also dow 3 ibuprofen as a precaution. Started a “fever log” as I can’t remember anything these days (YES>>chemo brain back in full force). On Saturday, took my temp and it was normal throughout the day. Sunday, I started to feel weird and feverish, so took my temp at 1:15 pm and it was 101.2, so again, I take the antibiotic and 3 ibuprofen. At 4:15 (so only 3 hours later)it came down to just 100.6, so not much help in going down :( Took another 2 ibuprofen, and finally went to sleep knowing that was the last time I was going to take it that night. Needless to say, felt pretty shitty on Sunday. On Monday, didn”t feel feverish or weird, so took my first temp of the day at 3:25 pm and it was 98.6…..(although con’t to take the antibiotic) YAY…..normal. BUT BUT BUT…. at 4:45, just a bit over an hour later, I started feeling really bad and took my temp and it was 101.4! Again, took 3 ibuprofen and my antibiotic. Took my temp again 45 minutes later (at 6:30 pm) and the ibuprofen made it go back down to 101.0, so just .4 lousy degrees in 3 hours. Needless to say,I’m still feeling pretty dang wiped out and weak by this time. At 6:30 pm, after 2 more ibuprofen, I got it down to 99.0 around 8:00 pm and tried to go to bed early. Now today, I was supposed to go in for 2nd Velcade infusion, but I kwow chemo kicks your butt and I wasn’t sure whether they would even want me to have it today, so I called the office around 9:00 am (my appt wasn’t until 11:15 and my temp was 98.9) but they said NO…Don’t come in for the velcade, until we figure out what is causing the fever, they set me up for an appt for tomorrow (wed). Now here is here the predicament lies. If I hadn’t had a low grade fever on fri (BEFORE the infusion), it would stand to reason the chemo is the culprit as it is one of the side effects. But because I did have a low grade temp on fri, is it the beginning of an asymptomatic UTI (which I continue to take the antibiotics everyday..it’s only 1 pill a day of 500 mg of levaquin)…..so it it just the UTI starting? Is is a combination of the velcade and and a UTI? Or is it something altogether different and new? I know that kidney issues can cause fever as well as several other MM issues? I am so weak right now, from something…had to use a cane for stability again today…can hardly move around in bed and again (and I know you are getting tired of hearing this..the FATIGUE is just so overwhelming. Like I couldn’t drive myself to the doctors today..just no way…so mom , again my angel, will have to drive me tomorrow, if I still feel the way I do right now. I guess I just want answers. Is it the chicken or the egg? I just know, this is once again, one of my “rough spots” that I will have to get over to fight this fight. It just gets real old sometimes, ya know? I’ll keep you posted.

Starting to get out and about

Up to the Forth of July we had a hard time getting Mark to get up and do anything. He was starting to worry me. On the Forth he decided he wanted to go for a ride up the canyon. I didn’t care were as long as he wanted to get up and moving, then I was o…

ICU Day 24

Roobeedoo, Spiritwoman, and Andre’s weekend doc all suggested that playing music might help Andre relax. My initial notion was that silence is best in not agitating him. It seems I’m wrong. I started with classical music to relax Andre but he seems t…

This SOOOOOOOOOOO Sucks!

I went to see Dr. Nair yesterday for my regular appt., to check all vitals, as well as having the usual CBC to check on white and red blood cells. I weighed 91 lbs. by the way…..something I am so concerned about :( I didn’t know if the results of the bone marrow biopsy I had on Tues. would be in by then or not, so I went in wondering if the results were back yet. Mom took me to this appt., as I also wasn’t sure if I would be receiving my infusion that day or not, and in case I did have the new chemo infusion and I had any side effects, we thought it best if mom took me to my appt. and Ashley would come and pick me up when I was done, as we also didn’t how long it would take either. So I went to this appt not knowing several things. My RBC were all either just at normal or a little low, but nothing that required any intervention. So all of those are stable for now. That last transfusion has lasted me 3 weeks now, so that’s a high five, as again, it has made me not as horribly fatigued as I had been.
Just a word about Dr. Nair before I go on with the rest of my day……
As I’ve said before, I trust him implicitly. We are a team. I really think that goes back to my very first appt. with him when he so thoroughly explained what MM was and what the possible treatment options were for this disease. (He made drawings and all). :) After he was done I had said to him “We are in this together, right?” and “We’re gonna do our best to beat his thing as a team, right?” and he answered yes to both questions, and then I gave him a “fist bump”! Oh, yes I did! LOL…..he then stood up and pulled me to my feet and gave me a big hug and said “we will fight this as a team and fight together”. That was the very beginning of our relationship, and we’ve only grown closer and more trusting over these 2-1/2 years. He has also told me that he knows and respects that I am very informed about this disease, so when he says something, he knows I understand what he is talking about and if I don’t understand or have any questions, he takes however long it takes to explain things to me. He has a way that includes me in all decisions. For instance, when I went in for my last blood transfusion, the way he said it was “how do you feel about having a blood transfusion for your low RBC count?” Now if I had said, let’s just try the shots for a few days and then I’ll make my decision, he would have respected my decision and done it my way. At the time, as well documented here, I was feeling so horrid I jumped at the chance for a transfusion, so of course said yes, but my point is he would have done it my way had I chosen differently. Another thing about my doctor…..he does not give false hope NOR predict dire outcomes. If you are ever diagnosed with a serious disease and a doctor either tells you no problem OR gives you an expiration date…..find the door AND another doctor as fast you can. The “no problem” doctor cannot predict side effects, medical complications, etc. and the “expiration doctor” does not have a crystal ball that can predict the future and everyone is different, so neither doctor has any business telling you one way or the other, and has no business being your doctor. That’s why I trust Dr. Nair so much. He does neither. What he has to say to me at any given appt. is about how I am doing right then. Another reason I trust him so much>>>> he has said to me on several occasions “Jan, out of all of my patients, you are the one that is always on my mind. I think about what is going on with you and what the next several outcomes might be, and where we wil go based on them. You are always uppermost in my mind”. That assures me I am not on someone’s back burner….or that my doctor is just waiting for the next bomb to drop before thinking about options, etc etc. It makes me comfortable. He totally has my back and and we have a mutual trust and respect for each other, that I am so grateful and thankful is there. He always greets me by either holding my hands in both of his or a big hug and ends the appt in the same way. I feel close to him. I cannot imagine going through all of this without someone like him guiding me through this journey.
Now back to my day…..he told me that the bone marrow biopsy results were in and that it showed 50% cancer cells were in my bone marrow. At initial diagnosis back in 1/07 the results were 65% cancer cells, so that basically means I am almost back to where I started from and that’s even after going through the hellacious bone marrow transplant. I started to cry. This news actually stunned me and I don’t really know why. It shouldn’t have, as I’ve had several indications that I have a very aggressive form of MM starting with relapsing from the transplant after only 10 months and the latest low red blood cell counts over and over. That’s what MM does. Of course I got an extra hug (LOL) when I started to cry, (and a box of tissues) which I really hadn’t planned on crying, it just sorta popped out of me! It was totally unexpected on my part, but hey, it was a real and genuine reaction. We then spoke some time about starting the velcade right then and there and I was prepared as I did bring my IV transfusion bag with all my “stuff” in there to occupy the time. He assured me that this will definitely bring down my MM numbers (that’s why he wanted the biopsy results done first). He said I would receive Velcade for 4 months and then we would see where I was at that point. That would be on a schedule of Fridays and Tues. for 2 weeks and then 10 days off…..to start that schedule all over again, for a total of 4 months. I asked him if his goal for this round of treatment was a partial remission (in my mind having had an unsuccessful BMT and having to back down on my revlamid b/c of side effects) and he said NO….my goal for you will always be complete remission. He also told me in years back, all an MM patient could hope for was at the most 3-4 years tops, but now with the inventions of so many new chemos and drug combinations, that I can seriously look at a minimum of 10 years and that who knows what is coming down the pike as far as new treatments and drugs. Like I told you before, he doesnt just throw out numbers easily (or at all), so for him to say something like this really does mean something. After discussing a few more things, I went back to the infusion room and started the next leg of this journey I’m on. Nobody promised it would be easy, huh? I’m just bummed out right now, but I’ll get over it and move on. I still find myself feeling a little sorry for myself and the tears well up, but it comes in waves and then passes. Luckily for me, my personality doesn’t really make me stay in a sad place for very long and thankfully I’m not a “dweller”, so that’s a good thing too!! So for now, that’s were I am>>>> all positive thoughts and prayers are more than welcome. :) A really big thank you for traveling with me and being by my side while I go through this. It helps even more than you know.

ICU Day 22

I’m back in Seattle after being in Vancouver since Wednesday afternoon. I’ve kept up on Andre’s progress by calling the nurses at least three times a day, but the day nurse today was quite thoughtful. She called me an hour before the end of her shift…

ICU Day 20 – AM

Andre was completely sedated when I came this morning. I had another “incident” with a physician today, this time with the new attending oncology doc. It seems I’m losing my patience so I need to just calm down just like what I tell Andre.Completely …