Week 17 chemo complete: Reflecting on my invisible illness

Week 17 complete: Reflecting on my invisible illness
Reflecting on my invisible illness

Today I was sitting in a park thinking about my life with multiple myeloma and how it is an invisible illness. I was reflecting on how you can’t really tell that I’m a cancer patient on chemo treatment. Because of that when I meet someone new, I’m always unsure when it is the right time to tell them about my cancer. Basically I don’t want to freak anyone out nor lose them as a potential friend. I’m not stressing about this though. I just remain positive, focus on making friends, and enjoying life.

On Sunday I completed Cycle 5 Week 1. Last week I had a complete blood count, a 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
June 6.5 122 439 4.7
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 June 1st I began Cycle 5 for 4 weeks.

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

Segway on the seawallMay 2014: Segway on the seawall

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