Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Back on the Cycle and catching up

Right a quick update now that I'm started Cycle 1 of the Thalidomide, Melphalan, and Prednisolone mix (TMP)with a dose of Dexamethasone (steroids) being reduced till I stop that. Next cycle I'll have no Dex and just the TMP.

After no treatment for 6 months its been quite an adjustment and as predicted- the Dex has thrown me immediately back into insulin dependent diabetes( amazing how quickly that happens) and also only letting me sleep for two or three hours some nights- this has been a feature of my Dex treatment- the steroids really do keep me going. ( apologies to those who receive my regular 3 am emails!). Main issue though is extreme tiredness and fatigue- and there is a difference. Tiredness is just the feeling of being tired. Fatigue is the result of the chemical effect on my muscles so a bit weak in the old legs and arms and can't do too much at times. But I know that as I get more into the Thalidomide side of things this should ease off. Also developed a wee tremor in my fingers ( makes my guitar and smallpipes playing a bit interesting!)- all perfectly normal for Thalidomide use.

I also had to have radiotherapy in the week after my 60th birthday party as the myeloma has damaged my sacrum a bit more and I also had to have some radiotherapy on my shoulder earlier. Its amazing how blaze you can get because on the way to get radiotherapy on my sacrum I turned a corner in the car and cracked a rib it appears- I think its the 3rd time this has happened- and again linked to the myeloma effect on the bones.

But the main thing is- I'm still here! and though I'm on my 6th regime of chemo after my transplant ( on the 12th May it will be 4 years since my stem cell transplant, my quality of life is still very, very good and I remain active and still managing some work though intending to do less. Those of you who read my blog before will be pleased to know though that I climb ladders less- and that my solar panels now meet all our water heating needs!( a great buy at £1000).

So- that's where I am just now. As many of you know my history of my various treatments is that I aim for 6 cycles but have never ever made 6- I've always responded well initially but then the myeloma hits back and on every chemo regime I've been on I've never made it passed the 5th cycle. So we'll see this time!

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