Week 13 complete: More than a cancer patient on chemo

Week 13 complete: More than a cancer patient on chemoMore than a cancer patient on chemo

Being on Pomalyst chemo treatment that will continue for an indefinite period, could leave me with the perspective that my identity is “someone on chemo forever”. I’m aware of the many challenges brought on by my treatment, but I’m not letting it define who I am. That is not how I’m living my life.

I’m more than a cancer patient on chemo. I’m a photographer, that continues to develop my skills through weekly self-portraits, providing awareness about my multiple myeloma to others touched by cancer. I’m a friend, focused on building new friendships and maintaining existing ones, as I enjoy interacting with people. I’m an optimist, that wakes up each morning wondering what adventures I’ll discover, to brighten my day.

On Sunday I completed Cycle 4 Week 1. Last Tuesday I had a Complete Blood Count (blood test) that measured my overall health while on chemo treatment. The results looked good (see normal range in brackets). The hemoglobin (red blood cells) is below normal because I have anemia.

Hematology Profile
Date WBC Hemoglobin Platelet Count Neutrophils
Reference Range 4.0 – 11.0 135 – 170 150 – 400 2.0 – 8.0
May 10 118 320 5.2
Apr 7.6 113 357 3.9
Mar 7.0 133 247 5.6
Mar 6.8 127 467 5.2
Feb 5.5 133 191 4.6
Jan 4.4 129 206 2.3

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.

Weekly chemo-inspired self-portraits can be viewed in my flickr album.

End of the day on Granville IslandMay 2014: Granville Island

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