More important news on vitamin D and coronavirus

On March 27, I published a post about some findings of a team from the University of Turin (Italy) showing that low levels of vitamin D might increase:

  1. your risk of being infected with Covid-19
  2. your risk of having complications if you already have the virus

The University of Turin data also showed that vitamin D can counteract lung damage caused by hyperinflammation.

Well, now a research team led by Northwestern University has found a “strong correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and mortality rates.” Their results are based on data from hospitals in several countries, including Italy.

Incidentally, I got this information from an easy-to-read Science Daily article, which you can check out for yourself at this link:

So it seems as though vitamin D will lower your risk of having severe complications and of dying from the virus…once you’ve contracted it, of course. Here’s an important excerpt from the article: “Not only does vitamin D enhance our innate immune systems, it also prevents our immune systems from becoming dangerously overactive. This means that having healthy levels of vitamin D could protect patients against severe complications, including death, from COVID-19.

According to the lead researcher, vitamin D might actually cut “the mortality rate in half.” Wowsie!

Interestingly, the lead researcher also says that, while vitamin D “may reduce complications and prevent death in those who are infected,” it will not prevent you from actually getting the virus. Hmmm. That doesn’t make much sense to me. I mean, if your body has adequate levels of vitamin D, it should be better equipped to resist against the virus. But…who knows?

Anyway, whatever! I mean, even if vitamin D doesn’t give us the slightest protection from coronavirus, let’s not forget that keeping our vitamin D levels in the NORMAL range is absolutely essential for us myeloma folks. So let’s keep ’em in that normal range no matter what…

That said, please don’t exaggerate with your vitamin D daily intake: too much of a good thing may not necessarily be a…good thing, indeed, it probably isn’t!!!, as I have said repeatedly here on the blog. So please be careful…and don’t overdose!

I hope everyone is OKAY! Stay Safe!!!

P.S. That’s the photo of a flower from my garden…Nothing to do with the post, of course, but…it’s so pretty!

Living with multiple myeloma: Pomalyst chemo cycle 1 week 1

Reflecting on Wreck Beach, first cycle of Pomalyst chemo todayWreck Beach: Reflecting on new chemo treatment

This morning, I began a new cycle of treatment called Pomalyst (Pomalidomide). I’m on a 28 day cycle in which I take one pill (4mg) a day for 21 days and then get 7 days off. Pomalyst is combined with dexamethasone (referred to as Pom/dex) to enhance its effectiveness. I will take 10 pills every 7 days (each is 4mg), so 40mg in total every week. I picked up an 8 week supply from the BC Cancer Agency last week. What was very helpful is that the Pharmacist that gave me my dexamethasone also gave me some recommended dietary advice and information about how this steroid drug will affect me. For example, I should take it in the morning with breakfast preferably with water or juice.

PomalystPomalyst chemo pills

Potential side effects of Pomalyst include constipation and diarrhea. There is also a concern that blood clotting may occur, so I take baby aspirin daily, which functions as a blood thinner. Potential side effects of dexamethasone include insomnia, depression, weakened immune system, bone loss, increased appetite and weight gain. I really need to watch my health and listen to my body during my treatment, lots of bad things can happen to my body.

DexamethasoneDexamethasone (steroid) pills

As a multiple myeloma patient, I’m already at a high risk of bone loss and of developing osteoporosis, so it is especially important that I do what I can during treatment to keep my bones strong. The BC Cancer Agency recommends I get 1000 mg of calcium daily, but that I don’t exceed 2500 mg. I get get that from foods such as milk, sardines, and cheese. I can also use a supplement such as calcium carbonate at doses of 500mg or less. They recommend I get 600 IU of Vitamin D but don’t exceed 4000 IU. I can get Vitamin D from fish, milk and eggs. Again, I can also use a multivitamin or a mineral supplement. It is also recommended that I eat protein daily and be physically active.

I’m staying confident that I will respond positively to treatment. I will continue to use photography and self-portraits for health, healing, and happiness.

I’m focused on staying positive each day.

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).

Vancouver through raindropsJanuary 2015: Vancouver through raindrops

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