Sunday, May 4, 2008

Now That I've Had Some Time

Since being told last Thursday that the autologous stem cell trans plant would have to be delayed for a few months, I’ve had a little time to decompress and get used to the idea. I don’t know quite how to describe the way I felt. OK, this past weekend in my hometown of Louisville, the Kentucky Derby was run. What would it be like if the horses were saddled, ready to go, the jockeys mentally prepared to ride, when suddenly someone comes in and says the race is being delayed for a couple of months. It would be a huge letdown. That describes how I felt when I was told the transplant was being delayed. I was not pleased at the prospect of 2 or 3 more months of chemo rather than the transplant. The transplant, from what research I have done, seems to be the best way to reach remission. The drugs available for treatment of Multiple Myeloma don’t seem to be nearly as effective in bringing about remission. One drug mentioned by the doctor in Chicago was Velcade. Velcade does seem to be a good treatment for MM, and it does not appear to interfere with the potential for an autologous transplant following Velcade therapy. There are some potentially nasty side affects, but they don’t appear to be any worse than what I have faced previously. So, I’m calling my doctor here in Louisville, again, tomorrow. I want to get this thing started. I’ve never been the most patient person, and this is really testing my limits. So I will do the only thing I can, turn to God, pray for patience, and the grace and strength to get through this phase of the treatment.

Deacon John
The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
May 4, 2008
St. Peregrine, pray for us.

1 comment:

Steve L said...

Hi, John

My stem-cell transfer was scheduled to take place just around Xmas. I was taking thalidome at the time but brachicardia (slow heart beat) caused by it prevented me taking high enough doses and the gammaglobulin count decreased slower as the result. Now I have been on Velcade for over a month and feel very good. All the blood values became normal, gammaglobulin IgG is now in the normal range also . I feel very good physically and mentally (taking still dexa with Velcade, though but reduced amounts). I have read in several publications that the use of Velcade prior to stem-cell operation improves chances of CR and is good in the longer term. I will have to go through the number of cycles before I am ready, but everything seems well. Moreover, it takes only some 20 minutes in the hospital 2 times in 2 weeks in each month to get yourself inocculated. Do not fear - if it works for you without side effects you will never look back.

All the best,
Steve L