Last week was a week my body would like to forget. After concluding 13 radiation therapy sessions–focused on a new myeloma lesion in my right hip–I began my pre-stem cell transplant induction.
Induction therapy is designed to get a patient’s tumor burden as low as possible prior to transplant (SCT).
Translation: The doctors plan was to hit my myeloma with everything they’ve got!
Here is a link back to Tuesday’s post, describing my first day at the Florida Cancer Institute’s infusion center:
Day One: Bring On The Three Drug Chemo Cocktail!
Everyone agreed this was a good idea. The only problem is–no one warned my body!
I exercise daily and eat well. I’m a veteran patient. It takes more than a few chemo IV’s and some radiation to slow me down!
But add a mid-week colonoscopy, and my body was screaming “Uncle!”
I blame my insurance company and the medical schedulers for piling-on. The colonoscopy was required as one of many pre-transplant tests. But I only had a limited opportunity to squeeze it in without delaying the ten week process leading-up to SCT.
Radiation, plus chemotherapy–sandwiched around a colonoscopy–was a lot to go through in one week.
The biggest casualty was my sore rear-end! So much radiation focused below my waist resulted in what I call the “radiation runs.” Adding 4 liters of salty, clear-out the colon goop to the mix on Tuesday was like fertilizing a spring garden… Out sprang the hemorrhoids!
OUCH! Not great timing when you have no choice but to spend six hours on the toilet! God only knows how long it will take those to heal…
Since my Velcade infusion is on a Monday/Thursday schedule, I had the weekend to recover. I tried to do most everything I would normally do–yard work, shopping, lunch with a fellow multiple myeloma survivor and her family in Tampa–but I was dragging big-time!
Now its Monday again and time to start week two. I’m tired and my head and backside hurt. The neuropathy is worse in both my hands and feet. But I know I can do this! The side-effects are significant, but I’m determined not to let them get in the way of my goal: Years of relatively drug-free living following this summer’s SCT.
Did I mention I have already decided NOT to stay on maintenance therapy after my transplant? More about that later.
Feel good and keep smiling–I’m off to get another Velcade/dex IV! Pat