Just a summary of where things are at.
The chemotherapy treatment has started and I have now had three courses of Velcade and two of Cyclophosphamide. This has been administered alongside the steroid Dexamethasone, following the VCD pathway.
As yet there are no noticeable side effects which is good, other than a slight red rash at the injection point of the Valcade in my tummy.
The problem of the week has been my kidney (singular!) which remains poorly functioning, though slowly improving. The myeloma paraproteins have blocked the nephrons which filter out the chemicals from the blood and have led to a build up of toxins which need to be dealt with. Chief amongst this has been the potassium concentration which has been exceptionally high at times. The result has meant being put on an ECG monitor on 4 separate occasions this week, lots of blood tests, blood glucose tests and cannulation.
They are still monitoring the potassium levels which have fluctuated from 4.9 (good) up to 6.4 (critical) at times.
Resulting from the above, the heart can be at risk. This potentially could result in a heart attack if left unchecked.
The above has been dealt with by lots of saline bags and lots of drinking water, to flush the kidneys continuously.
Blood and DVT
The clot at the back of my knee remains, but will slowly dissolve over the next few months. I have moved from Heparin infusion to Warfarin tablets in the past week, these blood thinners reduced the likelihood of further clotting.
These remain swollen – especially my left foot – water retention in combination with the lack of movement / clot is the cause.
This, the primary symptom of my Myeloma pre-diagnosis has taken a ‘back seat’ in recent weeks, but the use of low level paracetamol has been good and other than a bit of stiffness in the morning has been OK.
The movement in my arm seems slightly better than before treatment which is positive.
There are lesions across my spine, upper arms and legs, pelvis, ribs and skull. There is a particular problem in my upper right arm where there is weakness. This has needed a sling – though other issues above have made this impractical at times (e.g. cannulation, EGC monitoring etc). These lesions occur where the bone marrow is made in the larger bones of the body. As the Myeloma is tackled, the cells will die and the normal bone marrow will start to function. The lesions will start to slowly fill in – though this will take a long time and may need assistance.
Having said that there are few bone aches at the moment.
I am taking a variety of tablets ranging from Paracetamol to Warfarin, including Sodium bicarbonate to control the Potassium, anti-sickness tablets, antibiotics.
I remain in Lincoln County Hospital, Waddington Unit and until the potassium is under control. I am continually being monitored here which is necessary.
It is all a bit frustrating to be stuck in one room for over two weeks, but I know it is the best place to be for now!