Results Day

Hi everyone,

Today I got the results of my bloods and bone marrow biopsy. Lets
just say the news was not good.

My IGG is 4480 (44.8 UK)
My bone marrow is 25% plasma cells and a small amount of myeloma
cells have been seen in the marrow
My Electrophoresis light chain M component is 25g/l
My albumin is 34
MY B2 microglobulin has not been measured but is being done today, I
dont know when I will get the results.

basically my haemo has scheduled an MRI scan for Tueday 4th March and
is having a video conference with another specialist cancer unit in
our area on Thursday morning 6th March and I have to go back to the
clinic at 4.10 British time on Thursday to find out if Chemo
treatment needs to be started. My Haemo is 80% sure that I need
treatment and said that if its not smoldering myeloma then its full
blown Multiple Myeloma, but until she has had the video conference
and discussed my case with the oter specialists, she can’t give me a
100% diagnosis. She has said that I definately no longer have MGUS
and that I have progressed. A full skeletal survey is being done
after the MRI as soon as my aemo can get an appointment for me at the
x-ray department.

I will keep up my healthy eating and my supplements and keep
positive, life dont stop because you get a bit of bad news, and I am
sure as he*! I am not going to be miserable. I dont yet think its
sunk in yet though as I feel numb, but oh well never mind.

Love to you all and I will update you all again on thursday
Best wishes
Love Jane x

Plasmaphoresis

In March of 2007 I was at my monthly oncologist appt for routine labs. I had previously had creatinine levels in the 0.8-1.0 range. Looking back in my records my creatinine on January 2, 2007 was 0.9. January 30th it was 1.0. February 27th it was 1.5. March 30th it jumped to 4.0. At this last level my doctor advised me he was going to admit me to the hospital.

At this time I had been on Biaxin, Revlimid and Dexamethasone for three months with not a very dramatic response. I had also received Zometa recently and had been on Ibuprofen. While in the hospital I was diagnosed with Acute Renal Failure (ARF). I was put on i.v. fluids and my chemotherapy was changed to Velcade. I also had a kidney biopsy performed which revealed I had “myeloma kidney”. My doctors call was to have me receive plasmapheresis treatments.

I first had to have a catheter inserted near my collar bone. The catheter had two lumens. One took the protein out and the other replaced it with albumin (I think Beth, I’m not 100% sure). I had five treatments, two as a hospital patient and the other three as an out-patient. It was an amazing experience. I was connected to this fairly large machine that had buttons, dials and lights along with the tubes that were connected to my catheter. The process took between 60-90 minutes. They can adjust the speed of the machine and it was necessary to do this a little at a time.

The process was painless. I do remember I was chilly during the transfer. They warmed the albumin before it was introduced to my system. They did tell me I might experience tingly sensations around my mouth but I never did.

During the process you could read, watch tv, listen to tapes or sleep. The nurse was there with me during the total procedure.

Each day I had treatment they took my labs and my creatinine continued to improve.
In September I did a SCT and my creatinine is now at 1.9.

New Additions to the Vogt Family

January 2008

The twins are here and running things rather well. Eric III and Caitlyn arrived on Dec. 1. We had a learning curve with their parents to adjust to their every need! Their sisters, Annika and Kierstin are a big help and we go over to their home in Temecula to help often.






Haley will be 16 in Feb. and is driving very well with her learners permit.




Grandpa and Haley taking a ride with Grandpa’s Christmas toy to deliver grapefruit and oranges to our neighborhood friends.


Granddaughter Annika has really grown. She is in pre-school and will be 5 in February. Her older sister Kierstin, her cousins Haley and Hannah also have February birthdays!

  


We just came home from sharing a wonderful Thanksgiving with them. We will be going back Monday for the delivery of the twins. Exciting times.


Hannah is very talented, especially with her art projects. She is a straight A student this semester and is doing very well in her first year in junior high.

Her older sister Haley is now driving with a permit and only with direct adult supervision. She is also a straight A student in her sophomore year in high school. Haley is very involved with varsity football cheerleading team.

Mike, Pam, Haley and Hannah have a Colorado River vacation home for their party boat and quads. We enjoy the time we spend with them there. It is 20 miles north of Yuma, AZ.




I am still in remission after 4 years since tandem auto stem cell transplants. I was on a low dose maintenance but stopped altogether last summer. I get full testing every month to monitor trends with my oncologist.

Life is spectacular and full of promise. My wife Bonnie and I enjoy each day and all it brings to us.


Del Mar, our favorite place to go for summer and fall vacations.

More Good News

I am considering many options for the continuation of my blog. I do so appreciate your patience. There are many good developments in my health of late. My red blood has taken a miraculous turn for the better and now resides at a nice healthy 12! It’s hard for me to think of it as anything but a miracle because the two days before I had it tested I was sleeping much of the day because I was so weak. That’s why I went to the doctor to have it tested. Day two of my bout with weariness caused me to reach out to several of my praying friends. I even felt inspired to contact Ruth and Michael Reid. The next day, I was feeling better but didn’t realize that the nurse would be coming out to report that I was a 12. A 10 was what I had heard most people in my situation hover at, but mine had gone so low (down to 7.9!) that I thought I’d have to be okay with a 9. But I am blessed with a 12!

I am still unable to stop taking the nausea medication, however. I believe it is due to the number of pills I am still taking on a daily basis. With the medication, I am able to eat though I do not have much of an appetite…at least not until evenings when I sometimes get ferocious hunger pangs and eat whatever healthy foods I can get my hands on. Breakfast and lunch are another story, as I often have no idea what to eat since nothing sounds good at all. I am now wearing a size 8 in jeans! I’ve been skinnier before, but this has been effortless. That is, of course, because I do no feel all that hungry most of the time. Believe it or not, I actually look forward to feeling hungry (not overly so, of course) again.

I am in a course with a favorite professor of mine at UTD, but am reconsidering some aspects of my studies. I have come to a place in my life when I am unwilling to do anything of major importance that does not completely fit with my professional interests. It’s a good thing, but I am being cautious. Who knows how much more I will change in my feelings about my Ph.D. work as I make progress toward health?

I am now receiving teacher disability retirement. My first check came the first of October. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about that, but it has been, for the most part, a positive experience. I feel that I am contributing at least some of what I could be making if I were able to teach. Until I’ve gotten my immunizations and more teaching work lined up, I’m going to collect this small pension.

I know that I need to find a creative outlet. So I am considering many options…most of which involve this website…but renamed. I’m thinking I’ll just take the cancer out of the title and call it Sherry’s Cookies. That way my faithful friends and supporters who keep coming to my blog in hopes of reading about what is going on with me can still find me fairly easily.

Thank you for your prayers concerning the persistent nausea and a little bit of stuff coming up concerning my liver (which may be causing the nausea).

DAY 100

Happy Birthday to me….100 days and still chemo free. I’ve also avoided any infection or illness but I’ve stayed away from public places. My only concern at this point is my white cell count is still low. Within the next couple of weeks I will be scheduling xrays, and one of those wonderful bone marrow biopsies!! So far, I feel good and mentally fit. As always, thank you for all your prayers and support. All my best…. Gary

Moving On

Sorry that I haven’t checked in to write my blog for so many days. Everything is fine, I’m just considering renaming my blog…so as to move on from cancer. My treatment is done. I’m in remission. I’m in an independent study that takes up much of my extra time. All of these things are good.

Please be patient while I reconsider a name for my blog that does not have anything to do with cancer, but has everything to do with life and living it.

I know I am where I am because of God and for God’s grace I am so very very thankful.

Continuing on

A lot has happened the last month. The CMV infection was resolved, and then 2 weeks later reappeared, so I’m back on the anti-viral medicine. The rash on my face has grown to be a non-fungal “dandruff”, which isn’t pretty, but manageable. When I complained to SCCA, I was given a link that showed some pictures of some real graft vs. host disease rashes. Suddenly I’m not complaining so

Quick Trip to Houston

As promised, I am returning to Houston for a quick check up with my doctor at MD Anderson. We’re staying at Springhill Suites because the Rotary is full. But that is fine. The main reason the Rotary is better concerns parking. If you stay at the Rotary, parking is free. Whatever the case, I am glad to be getting this last appointment in because I will not have to return again for a while.

Thursday, I’ll start seeing my local oncologist who will be responsible for checking my blood and making sure I stay on track with my recovery. I am supposed to start tapering off of Cyclosporine as of this appointment.

Jacob was off to his first day of school today. I drove him to the school, and he seemed excited. I’ll be be here this afternoon to pick him up, of course, then his dad will get him from home. He has Boy Scouts tonight, so his dad will get him there and back again. He’ll stay with his dad tonight.

We should return by tomorrow evening.

Thankfully, I have a book on tape that Kirk and I have been listening to. This helps pass the five hours of driving to Houston.

Today, I’m just packing and doing laundry until Kirk and Jacob come home. Then, Kirk and I will be leaving for Houston.

An Entire Week (Almost) Has Passed

There were lots of things to do this week. Mainly, unpacking and getting Jacob ready for school. There is, as you can imagine, a lot of things that have been left undone over the summer that I’ve needed to do. I still find time in the mornings to drink coffee on the back porch when it is not so hot. And it has been hot. Especially after 12PM until about 7PM. Then it cools off again.

Even as I’m writing this, Jacob is in his room organizing and sorting. It is not so big a project because he was not here all that much over the summer. Boy Scouts starts back up on Monday, and then the Court of Honor the next Monday.

I have a wig to return, as well as some reimbursements to make. These things have not been forgotten.

My only complaint is I am tired at unexpected times. It may be low hemoglobin or just getting used to moving around a lot more. Whatever the case, I am asking for continued prayer concerning my counts. My red blood needs to be at around 10.

We return for one final check up on Tuesday in Houston. I’m sure I’ll see what my counts are at that time. Meanwhile, I continue to eat…fresh fruits and veggies even…making sure I get lots of iron.