Time to Start New Treatment

So, time to start treatment again. I saw my consultant a couple of weeks ago and my light chains have taken a jump up and the bone marrow results back this decision up – I wonder whether it coincides with my colonoscopy? I feel that any medical incident or illness seems to affect my levels, but who knows? I have done very well in remaining off treatment for a year. My Velcade regime will probably start in the first week of September. I have had a run through of the general points with a nurse and my consultant will ‘consent’ me next week.

I will be visiting the hospital twice a week – probably Tuesdays and Fridays. The procedure will mean the usual pre-treatment blood test, a wait for results and then what should be a very quick subcutaneous injection, probably into the stomach. It can cause a red, sore disc, but you can use evening primrose oil and there are suggestions on the website I read that ice packs afterwards may help – I need to go back and check that one out.

I will get two weeks of treatment and then ten days off (so three week cycles). I am not sure how long I’ll get treated for, but it could be 6 or 8 cycles depending on my response.

I’ll have various other medications, the main one being the dreaded steroids – I think it is 20mg at each treatment and in the week off. So back to the mood ups and downs, wind, indigestion, puffy and sometimes red face and sleepless nights. You also get Aciclovir against shingles and Allpurinol against gout – can’t remember if there were any others, but will let you know when I start. I guess I will still have the Adcal (Vit D and calcium) and the Gabapentin for my peripheral neuropathy.

It’s the peripheral neuropathy I worry about, as it’s a key side effect of Velcade and I already have it in my feet and lower legs following the Thalidomide treatment before my stem cell transplant. Having it subcutaneously lessens the probabilities but I could still get it and that might mean a lowered Velcade dose. However, we can only wait and see.

Otherwise it’s the same old side effects as most of these drugs – I am usually fairly tolerant so hoping for the best. I’ll be recording the treatment mainly for the benefit of fellow sufferers.

In the meantime, things are toodling along, but I am getting very tired now, probably as a result of the myeloma returning. Had a few days away visiting relatives and Rosemoor RHS gardens in Devon, which was great but has really hit my digestion, what with different foods and changes of water, so I’ve had quite severe diarrhoea for three days now, which I’m trying to control with Loperimide and rehydration sachets. Very annoying as I am hungry!

My tooth problem is yet to be resolved and I’ve heard nothing from either the dentist or the hospital. I’m keeping it under control with mouth rinses etc. I get the odd bout of bad pain, but seem to be able to knock it on the head with paracetamol and clove oil on the tooth.

We’re going to have a couple of nights in Rochester soon, which I’m looking forward too – have wanted to visit Chatham Docks for ages. We’ll also try to visit RHS Hyde Hall gardens on the way there or back. Here’s hoping the tummy holds out!!