Tuesday, 6 May 2008

End of Cycle

I'm heading for the end of cycle 1 so time for a review of what this first cycle was like. To remind you- I was already on Dexamethasone ( to address my spine issues) before I started the PMT( Prednisolone, Melphalan and Thalidomide) regime. You aren't allowed to come off Dexamethasone suddenly so for the first cycle I've been taking a tapering amount of Dexamethasone- its meant though that I've had two lots of steroids in the first cycle- and I don't like what steroids do to me. But from Cycle 2 I won't be taking the Dex so hoping its a bit easier. I should also explain that this PMT regime has been referred to by my consultant as " the old man's regime"- i.e. its meant to be a bit easier and so more tolerable for older people. In my case I'm on it because I've already had 5 different types of chemo regime ( C-vad, Velcade, Revlimid, Z-dex and Thalidomide) and of course my stem cell transplant( on May 12th it will be 4 years since my transplant. The idea I think is that my body has had such a chemo hammering that anything too strong might not be too good for me.

I've had all the usual signs of Thalidomide side effects ( a good statement of these is at http://www.cancernews.com/search/fulltext.asp?cat=6&aid=199&Type=all&SearchStr=myeloma&Archives= ) and the main problem has been the extreme tiredness. Having said that for the past couple of days I'm aware of my body picking up and feeling much better so I'm hopeful that the next cycle might be easier- that's the suggestion anyway- that cycle 1 is needed at a lower level of Thalidomide ( 50mgs) to allow the body to adjust and then the medics crank up the dosage- the optimum being I think 200mgs. We'll see.

I've also had the added difficulty of again being thrown into diabetes by the Dex but with the tapering dosage its been very difficult to set a good level of insulin so my blood sugars have been all over the place. I also have to take allopurinol to protect my kidneys and also was given anti sickness drugs. I haven't actually taken any of the anti sickness pills- in fact through the four and a half years of all my treatments- including my stem cell transplant- I think I have only been sick once-been fortunate in that respect.

So in short a bit harder than I expected but now getting ready for cycle 2 which without the Dex should be a bit easier.

1 comment:

Mark Small said...

Glad you resumed updating your blog. Sounds like figuring out and keeping track of side effects is a full time job.