Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 22, 2014

Well, I am a little behind in posting my blog.   No, make that a lot behind.

There has been a lot going on the past month and I should have kept everyone informed but I haven't.

Let's see, I guess I need to go back to mid January when they took a lot of blood (5 vials).  Then on January 28 they gave me an infusion (through an IV) of a new drug to me of Zometa.  Only took about 15 minutes and I didn't think anything about it.  They also told me to take calcium every day.

So Keith, loving husband that he is, went to Walmart and got the biggest bottle of chewable calcium pills that he could get.   Not only was the bottle big but the pills in there are HUGE!!!  Good thing they are chewable or I could never get them down.

Then comes February 6.  I went to my main Oncologist who gave me the results of all those blood tests.   It seems that I am not responding to my treatments.  This is determined by the fact that certain markers in the blood work are worse than they were when we got here to Oklahoma for treatment.

Now, to make matters more complicated (and put a little humor in all this), I turned 65 this month.  So I had asked the doctors not to do any big tests (like CT scan, etc) until my Medicare kicked in.   I was so proud that I would not have to make big copayments since I now have Medicare and my supplemental Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  

Well, I was until I started talking to my BC/BS lady who said "Oh, you are aging into Medicare".   That was like a kick in the gut.   I didn't think about getting old, only that  I would have Medicare.   LOL

Then they told me to get a primary care doctor.   OK, that should be easy, right.   Well, when I called the OU Physicians phone number to get a primary care doctor that would accept new patients with Medicare and BC/BS the "helpful" young lady who answered the phone said, "Oh, you should call the Senior Clinic.   They take care of geriatric patients there."   Talk about a wake up call!   I sure don't consider myself geriatric.   I that that term was for "OLD" people.   You know, at least 80.   Of course, when I turn 80 I will be thinking that 100 is old.   Guess it's all relative.  OK, that was the comic relief.   Now, back to what's going on.

I have been having some shortness of breath when I walk which goes away after a few minutes of sitting (and have been telling the doctor about it).  She decided to do an x-ray to make sure I didn't have fluid in my lungs.   Well, it showed a spot in the lower left lobe that they want to look at a little closer.  Since it has been 3 months since my CyberKnife treatment in Tennessee on my lung tumor it was time for a CT anyway.  So they ordered that.  I have an appointment March 6 with a pulmonary oncologist to get the results of that report.

The doctor also ordered a complete x-ray of my body to see if there were any indicators of the multiple myeloma spreading.   They took a series of almost 30 x-rays from the top of my head to the bottoms of my feet and all the way to the tips of my fingers.

There are some indicators that there might be problems coming up in my forearms.   Now, this could present a very BIG problem because if the bones get weak from the myeloma they can break for no apparent reason (no fall needed to produce break).   Since I walk on crutches 90% of the time you can see where this could be a little scary.

And in the middle of all this I have gained 20 pounds, just inching up a pound or two every week.   Some of this is weight gain but most of it is water.  I had lost 40 pounds last year taking my Zeal for Wellness formula and was doing well with keeping it off and even working toward losing more.   But they would not let me take it while I was taking the chemo.   Well, finally on February 6 the doctor decided that it would not hurt me to take it.  

Boy, I couldn't wait to get back on that.  I had been retaining so much fluids that I had to have my feet propped up above my heart just to get the swelling down enough to try to work.

Yes, that's right, in the midst of all this other, I am trying to work at H&R Block in Del City.  I have to keep busy with my mind and the money always helps.  But February is a busy month and I was pulling some long hours.   Not complaining but just documenting.  But all those hours with my feet down didn't help.

And my brace broke and I fell.  Finally got my brace fixed again after about a week but the swelling was so bad I couldn't get my brace on.  After about 10 days of that we finally got it under control by sitting with feet elevated all the time that I could and sleeping with my feet and legs elevated every night.   Then when I got back on my Zeal I lost 5 pounds in about a week!!!   Talk about happy.  Now I can wear my brace again without it cutting off the circulation.  I still need to lose more weight but will be able to do that now that I am feeling better physically.

A couple more things and then I am finished.   Had an MRI on my T-12 vertebra a few days ago.  That was to check to make sure the tumor they did radiation on in Tennessee is not growing and that the bone remains stable.  No word for sure on it but preliminary results says it's probably holding it's own.

Now, one more test (and this is a big one).  They will be scheduling a PET scan probably for this next week.   This test is used to show up all the cancer spots in the body.  Hopefully they will that that test run and get the results in time for my doctor appointment March 6.

So, March 6 I have two doctor appointments, one with the pulmonary oncologist and one with the hematology oncologist.  Also have appointment March 26 with primary care doctor.  Hopefully we will get some better reports on March 6 than before.   I promise to update this blog a little quicker next time.   I have just had a lot to think about and do and just didn't feel like posting all this any sooner.   But I feel better now (physically and mentally) and am ready to face whatever challenges are thrown at me.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend.