19 April 2016

Four to get Two? I’ll Take it!

Had my monthly meeting today with my cancer doctor. He said I am responding “amazingly well” to the chemo. My protein numbers are way down (into the normal range, which is good) and my albumin level is increasing (although still not yet high enough) which is also good. He thinks if I do a total of four months chemo (two more in addition to what I’ve already done) then I can be off chemo for possibly as long as two years (!). Myeloma is not curable, so it will always come back. But four months on and two YEARS off is a great tradeoff.

We also talked about the always-possible T-cell transplant. He said it would allow me perhaps three years off from chemo. I wonder if an extra year is a great deal though, considering how horrible the T-cell transplant prep is (mega doses of chemo, hospital stays, etc.) and the lengthy recovery process (up to two months of not being able to interact with people or go out, etc.). Not to mention the cost. Not to mention that the cancer will still come back anyway.

The downside to all this good news is that my feet/leg swelling continues apace. I’ve gained 17 pounds of (what must be) water weight. We’ve tried many things without luck to get it to stop and go back down. Today, we reduced the dose of another of my chemo drugs in the hopes this might allow the water weight to go away. Sigh! It’s really frustrating, especially considering all the years I’ve struggled to keep my weight down (I was 183 six weeks ago).

Right now, I’m focusing on the silver lining around the cloud. It’s been a good day. (Plus, we got pizza for lunch. Always good.)

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