San Francisco Tuesday, January 12

Monday evening, George and I packed up Jessie’s VW and headed off to San Francisco. I felt so much better than I did the last time we made the trip. That was the trip when I was admitted to the hospital for 3 nights. We met with Dr. Wolf and one of his practicing doctors. So here’s the scoop.

Dr. Wolf doesn’t really like the terms remission (no indication of cancer cells) and relapse (cancer cells detected). Remember that with Multiple Myeloma a patient is not cured, but rather you manage the cancer for the rest of your life – which for me could be 20 more years. After the Stem Cell Transplant, Dr. Wolf indicated I still had active cells in the thecal sac (tail bone area). Since that is a major nerve site, I developed severe pain and lost strength in my legs. Over the holidays I had 12 sessions of radiation aimed at the tailbone area. Now it takes 6-8 weeks to heal from the radiation and to see if we got the bad little buggers. I’m at 2 ½ weeks in that healing process now. I have an appointment with Dr. Wolf next month at 5 weeks. He wants to see an MRI then, so hopefully we can see if there is any or no growth. Sometime soon I will start the management chemo which is a low dose chemo tablet taken regularly. The chemo pill has few side effects and shouldn’t disrupt my teaching or other activities.

My Fresno health team is great. I have an oncologist, a radiologist, and a clinic full of happy, professional nurses and workers. Dr. Wolf, at UCSF, is the leader in knowledge and new treatments for Multiple Myeloma. I am so blessed that I get to be part of his patient load. It was so good I was referred to him. We will see him present at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Conference in San Francisco next weekend. We will be visiting both a friend we met by blog and with Susan’s cousin. We should have a good time. I feel well taken care of!