Week 25 complete: Why my chemo is like wearing eyeglasses

Week 25 complete: Why my chemo is like wearing eyeglasses

This photograph represents how I like to explain my Pomalyst chemo treatment using the analogy of wearing eyeglasses. I do not wear glasses myself. When someone is having vision problems, an eye doctor will test their vision and give them glasses so that they can see normally. The glasses can’t repair their eyes, they are simply an aid. If the glasses stop being effective, an eye doctor will give them a new prescription that hopefully will allow them to see correctly again.

The Pomalyst chemo I’m on isn’t to cure my cancer. That isn’t possible, my multiple myeloma + anemia is incurable. Instead, the objective is to stop my cancer levels from increasing. In a best case scenario, my cancer levels will remain low and stable indefinitely. If my cancer levels increase, this means that the chemo isn’t working anymore. I will then see my Hematologist and we will discuss other chemo options, that hopefully will be more effective in keeping my cancer levels low and stable.

Last week was much more challenging both mentally and physically as I’m finding that I’m constantly fatigued, which affects my memory and ability to get things done correctly. It isn’t so severe that I feel trapped in my bed or unable to move off my seat on the Canada Line. Instead, it is a continual level of tiredness that I feel throughout my body.

To recharge, during the day I take any opportunity I get to sleep/nap such as on public transportation. In the evenings I try and get to bed early, with the hope that the next day my fatigue won’t cause any major problems. This is a common side effect of my chemo treatment and a normal symptom of my cancer (multiple myeloma + anemia). I’m doing ok overall and focused on happy thoughts to get me through each day.

To recap: Last Sunday I completed Cycle 7 Week 1. 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. Since February 9th 2015, I have been on Pomalyst and dexamethasone chemo treatment (Pom/dex). On July 27th I began my seventh 28 day treatment cycle, 21 days on (4mg Pomalyst chemo pill), then 7 days off. I take 3 dexamethasone pills (4mg) every Monday.

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

Watching the sunrise at UBC on New Year's DayJanuary 1, 2014: Watching the first sunrise of the year

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