I left my first visit to Moffitt feeling positive. As our appointment ended, Dr. Alsina suggested I return one week later for blood and urine tests–and a full body bone survey. Pattie and I felt this was a good idea, since it had been several months since my last M-spike, and several years since anyone had run a urine analysis. We all agreed the bone survey was also important to give Dr. Alsina a benchmark for future reference.
I returned the following week–last Friday for my tests. It was nice knowing my way around. Each test was on time and handled professionally. The x-ray lab was state of the art–all digital. I was in and out in one half hour.
So far my new insurance (Pattie’s Cigna insurance from her work) seems to be working just fine. I don’t expect any surprises from my test results. If there are any, I will share them with you later this next week.
A few more thoughts about when and if to proceed to SCT: I can understand the wisdom in going to SCT sooner rather than later. Heading off my creeping peripheral neuropathy (PN) is certainly something to consider. But Pattie and I are still leaning toward our original plan–avoid SCT until absolutely necessary. So although my resolve is wavering, if and when my M-spike becomes measurable again (which could be any time now) I think I will try increasing my dose and frequency of Revlimid, first–then possibly adding dex–or going right to Velcade and/or Velcade and dex. I did check with a friend at Millennium over the weekend and she shared with me that she believes, based on current data, PN among Velcade users has been over-hyped. Even if it is true that 20-30% of patients using Velcade suffer measurable PN, maybe I would be one of the other 70%. Worth a try! If my PN gets worse, I can always stop and go directly to SCT.
One advantage of trying Velcade before I go to SCT–since novel therapy agents which lose their effectiveness prior to transplant often are again effective afterwards, I could theoretically buy myself extra months or years of time by using Velcade first–assuming it works, of course.
Feel good and keep smiling, good friends–and thanks for listening! Pat