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Final Thoughts From My First Two Visits To Moffit Cancer Center In Tampa, Florida

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Final Thoughts From My First Two Visits To Moffit Cancer Center In Tampa, Florida

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