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My Medical Update: Despite Side-Effects, There Can Be Comfort In Routine

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My Medical Update: Despite Side-Effects, There Can Be Comfort In Routine

Yesterday I received the third of four sub-q Velcade injections as part of my RVD therapy.  I had never worked with the oncology nurse who gave it to me.  She seemed a bit timid and pushed the Velcade in very quickly.  I was surprised by how much itstung!

Like the other times, there was a red rash–about the size of a half dollar–at the injection site.  It is still sore and remains there this morning.

I have been scheduling my infusion appointments later in the afternoon.  The clinic isn’t as busy then.  My regular time is 3:20 PM.

I returned home, rushing to get as much computer work done before the now expected, nearly debilitating wallop hits.

It is hard to describe, but about two hours after my IV push or sub-q Velcade injections, my muscles stiffen and begin to ache.  I retain so much water you can’t see the veins or tendons in my feet.  I thought that was a result of the IV dex.  But now I take dex orally later in the evening–so that isn’t it.  It’s the Velcade.

Most rational people would simply rest and take it easy, waiting for all of this to blow over.  And it does–I always feel normal by morning.

Rest?  Not me!  I have intentionally been “practicing” for my stem cell transplant (SCT) recovery this summer.  More about this crazy ritual tomorrow…

I’m beginning to stray, so let me make my point:  These side-effects are inconvenient and uncomfortable.  But except for the evening after I receive Velcade, there isn’t much to complain about.  And even the post-Velcade period is tolerable.  None of it is fun.

But that doesn’t matter.  There is a certain comfort in adapting to–and learning to live with–a treatment schedule like mine.  Call me twisted.  But I don’t mind any of this–as long as it works!

My wife, Pattie, is an administrative assistant at a dialysis clinic.  She has worked there for two years.  Listening to her describe what some of these patients go through is heart rendering.  It all sounds horribly painful.  Talk about inconvenient!  Two large needles are used, three times a week, every week.

The clinic discourages the use of ports.  Apparently the risk of infection outweighs concerns for a patient’s pain, and the chance a vein may “blow out,” resulting in a trip to the emergency room–or even death.

Next to what these people go through, my RVD is nothing!  But I’m guessing the way they make it through is similar to what I do.  Like us, dialysis patients get into a routine and it eventually becomes the norm.

For these dialysis patients–like me–there is a certain comfort in that.

I do know one thing:  I am going to do everything possible to keep my kidneys healthy and working! 

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat