Where I’m At

Time ticks on and there has been little to say in recent weeks. Both my wife and I remain off work on sick leave, following her heart attack and my slow recovery from the stem cell transplant.

We both are recovering well and have started to do a little more as we gear up for that eventual return to work. For my wife this will be at the end of the month, this same is currently true for me too – although I remain incredibly tired most of the time. This has been apparent as  have started to up my exercise more. This has mainly been daily  walks, and the occasional swim. I had started some gentle runs (couch to 5K) but these have proved a little too much for the time being. Either way I don’t feel that I am in a position to start work at the end of the month and sadly will be looking to extend my sick leave a month or so. They said it could take three to six months, during which time I would be very tired. I had honestly hoped it would be nearer three than six.

Today I went for a CT scan at the local hospital. This procedure to determine the degree of damage to my bone structure post transplant.

The original MRI and CT scans  were taken last April. At that time there were multiple punched out lesions in my cranium, further soft spots (lytic lesions) in the spine, pelvis: and other lesions in both femurs (upper leg) and my right humerus (upper arm). The title of this blog is bone breaker for a reason!

Since my chemotherapy and stem cell transplant I am hopeful the damage has not increased though I am certain it will take time to heal. It remains to be seen what these scans will reveal, I am due to see my haematologist next week.

One further treatment I require is the application of bone strengthening medication. At this point my kidney function has not permitted it’s use, although a second alternative drug (not usually used with myeloma) is possible provided it is sanctioned. This drug is successful in treating bones in those with breast and pancreatic cancer and is a good option.

Another reason for delay, is the need for me to have dental work, as apparently there are side effects of the bone strengthener which affect the healing process of the gums. Way back in June, I lost a large chunk of tooth, a temporary filling was inserted in advance of my stem cell transplantation. It was not safe to work on my mouth post transplant and so I had to wait 100 days before work could be done.

Yesterday I  visited the dentist for a check up, part of the process of starting dental treatment. I have been referred back to the hospital for extraction of two premolars. Once done then, hopefully I can commence the bone strengthener.

Back to today and we took the opportunity this afternoon to visit Stoke Bruerne, a local village on the Grand Union Canal, where we enjoyed a winter walk. One benefit of out joint sick leave is the chance to spend some recovery time together.

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