Pomalyst chemo week 12 complete: Hematologist update

Week 12 chemo complete: Staying the courseStaying the course

On the weekend I wandered by a river during the magic hour to take some self-portraits. It was a beautiful evening and it gave me time to reflect on my life and my experiences with this chemo treatment. As I sat, I could hear birds chirping nearby. A quiet moment as the sun went down.

Last week I had my regular appointment with my Hematologist. Hematology is the area of medicine that deals with the study and treatment of diseases related to blood such as leukemia and multiple myeloma. I’m pleased to report that they are happy with how I’m responding to chemo as my cancer levels have dropped from 36.1 igG in Feb (2 weeks after treatment began) to 21.4 on April 20th. The objective is to get my cancer levels to remain 50% below that Feb level, which is 18 igG.

Recall from my April blood test:

Serum Proteins (Electrophoresis & Immunoglobulins) (g/L)
Date Albumin Beta Globulin 2 Gamma Globulin igG igA igM
Reference Range 34.0-53.0 1.8 – 4.8 5.1 – 15.0 6.7 – 15.2 .70 – 4.00 .40 – 2.30
Apr 44.4 19.2 1.5 21.4 .29 .41
Mar 39.1 27.1 2.6 27.5 .26 .50
Feb 38.9 33.9 3.0 36.1 .33 .53
Jan 39.3 30.6 3.7 33.4 .29 .22

When I start Cycle 5 on June 1st, my dexamethasone (steroids), will be reduced in half from 10 pills (4mg) each to 5 pills weekly. I have gained 10-15 pounds since chemo began when I weighed 165 pounds. My Hematologist wants to reduce my weight and decrease the likelihood of side effects. Pomalyst chemo treatment will continue indefinitely as long as I don’t have any severe problems and it remains effective keeping my cancer levels low and stable.

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). On May 4th I began Cycle 4 for 4 weeks. I’m staying positive and focused on happiness using photography to help cope with chemo.

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

End of the day on Granville IslandMay 2014: Granville Island

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