One Down, Five to Go
26 November 2014 | Gosport, HANTS
I've been trying to think of a catchy title for these future blogs but nothing seems to be appropriate somehow! Last month Andy started his treatment for myeloma. The photo shows his month's supply of drugs he now takes. He has to have high doses of Dexamethasone, a steroid, weekly chemo drugs called Cyclophosphamide and, bizarrely, Thalidomide which is an immunomodulatory drug. Side effects include mood swings, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, headaches, insomnia, fatigue, stomach pain, indigestion, fluid retention, increased blood sugar, increased appetite, loss of appetite, muscle weakness etc, etc. To counter-act some of the above, he has Ondansatron, Metachlopramide, Allopurinol, Amitriptyline, Paracetamol, Movicol, Immodium, Tramadol. He will also start having monthly infusions of Bisphosphonate to strengthen his bones which the myeloma attacks. When he's done five or six 28-day cycles of this, he will be able to have an autologous stem cell transplant (where they harvest his own stem cells from the bone marrow) and after that, he should be in remission!! Sounds pretty simple doesn't it?!
He's just finished his first cycle. It wasn't too bad. A few days of extreme fatigue, a couple of days of feeling really down (but as Facebook is full of everyone we know either heading down to Cap Verdes in their yachts or drinking cold beer in a very hot Australia, hardly surprising!) and a few nights of no sleep. Today we went to find out the results of his first blood test and can report all is good! Treatment appears to be working, all blood levels are heading to where they should be and he is on course for his stem cell transplant in April or May. If this had sound, you'd hear us going YESSSSSSSS!!!!!!