Friday, 29 August 2008

Post Croatia

Thanks for the comments Don..

We had a great time in Croatia and glad we went. Lovely scenery, great place where we stayed and nice folks. The car we were using only broke down once!! It meant though that we met folk in the village where we were staying. Great fun ( at least for me though Elspeth has yet to find her sea legs!) getting the water taxi from Cavtat to Dubrovnik though the crew could double up as characters from the last of the summer wine.

On getting back- had to go to A and E as my arm was pretty sore. In short, consultant quickly contacted me and I go in for surgery this Sunday to see if they can remove the tumour and put a plate in. This will be my third bit of metal in me - not so bad as it might be given the other lesions in my arms,legs, spine, shoulder and skull vault.

The other news though is that I was at haematology clinic and my paraprotein has remained stable so we're pretty pleased at that as you can imagine. I also feel much better the further away I get from the thalidomide treatment.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Croatia on a positive note

Now that I'm off the thalidomide, we've decided to go on holiday. My work took me to a number of the countries in the Balkans but I never made it to Croatia. That is to be rectified next week as we are going for a holiday to near Dubrovnik- see photo. Looking forward to it immensely.

As my treatment has stopped I think I might also give the blog a rest as well. We'll see when we get back.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Nae mair thalidomide, dogs and "bugger that"!

Haematology clinic on Thursday and my paraprotein is at 13. To cut a long story short the decision has been made that the Melphalan, Prednisolone, Thalidomide mix has probably done all it can do for me so its all been stopped. True to form I haven't made the 5th cycle on this my 6th regimen of chemotherapy. Some of you will know my pattern is usually to respond very well to new chemotherapies but then to backslide a bit as the myeloma fights back. But I have now had 6 different chemo regimens as well as my stem cell transplant. Add in over the past 4 or 5 years the pins in my leg and arm, radiotherapy on various bits of my anatomy, gall bladder removal, various infections, pretty bad shingles on more than one occasion etc etc and the old body has actually stood up pretty well. And the fact is that without the care from doctors and nurses at the WGH I wouldn't be here today. The fact that new drugs have come on the scene and that I've been involved in two trials have all also extended my stay on planet earth and allowed me to follow Brechin City Footbal Club longer than I thought possible at the outset of all of this( I'm not sure following Brechin City for longer is in fact a good thing!!).

In terms of what next, my consultant's expectation is that my paraprotein might rise again quite quickly and that I might need more treatment again within 3 months or so ( we'll see about that). If so, I'll be back on the Thalidomide as none of my earlier chemo regimens are any more likely to be effective. But he also made it clear that my next chemo package will be my last and there will be no chemo after that. What has been mooted is the possibility after my last chemo attempt is some form of half body radiation- but we'll see. I didn't know what half body radiation was and so looked it up on the web as you'd now expect of me. I was halfway through an article reading about how 97 subjects responded to half body radiation before I discovered I was in fact reading a piece by a vet and the subjects were dogs- I should have read the title more closely!!.

So again another spell of uncertainty but I'll need to again work out how best to make sure the myeloma doesn't have it all its own way. As you've read before I usually adopt the "bugger that" tactic in response to predictions of how long on planet earth I might have. So- bugger that!