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Side effects

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13 12, 2015

BMT Bondage

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I'm feeling a much better today. I was in such a dark place. Feverish and saddled with abdominal pain and now nine days of diarrhea, To be wheeled from ICU up to the BMT unit was discouraging beyond words. But as so many of reminded me with love and certainty, "It will get better!" Funny

12 12, 2015

I’m tired of being sick

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They moved me from the University of Iowa ICU to the 7th floor BMT Unit late last night. I'd like to say that I'm resting comfortably. Still no fun on so many levels, but I am feeling well enough to get up and get around. I did eat oatmeal for breakfast and part of a

11 12, 2015

I’m in the ICU

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I left Orlando Wednesday afternoon. Sorry that I didn't post Thursday, but I was too sick--and in too much pain to do anything but moan, groan and sleep. A was already in bad shape when I arrived in Detroit to catch my connecting flight to Iowa City for tests. Missed the tests, ended up in

1 12, 2015

More about elotuzumab (Empliciti). Are immunotherapies the answer?

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In my haste to get the news out about elotuzumab's FDA approval yesterday, I mistakenly relied on a Cure Magazine article that stated Kyprolis was the drug used in combination with elo. I was surprised, but ran with it. I should have known better. The Cure Magazine article was mistaken. Elotuzumab (Empliciti), Revlimid and dexamethasone

16 11, 2015

Patient Snapshot Update: Transplant survivor David from Tampa

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We've been following the progress of allogeneic (donor) stem cell transplant survivor, David, from Tampa, for a year. The young myeloma patient handled the difficult procedure better than most, but he openly expressed disappointment that his transplant didn't completely snuff out his cancer. I wrote about his thoughts in September: Patient Snapshot Update: David from

15 11, 2015

Good days? Bad days? Try both!

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It's been an interesting week. I've had better. I plan to spend a few upcoming posts to help unravel the mystery of why different patient's transplant experiences can be so different. Heck, I experienced a different complication following each of mine; my own recoveries were distinctly different, too. Of the three, my autologous stem cell transplant (SCT)

11 11, 2015

Thank God I’m Alive!

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I've been battling top to bottom GI issues. So much nausea and diarrhea that Pattie suggested I skip the hour drive to attend Mayo Clinic's monthly support group meeting. I reluctantly agreed. Too bad. My new friends there have been exceptionally supportive. GI hell or not, I'm blessed! Tough slog trying to normalize life back

7 11, 2015

Next stop: Amelia Island

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My left hip is biopsied and we're waiting for the results. Regardless, Pattie and I are flying home today as planned. Most folks worry about whether they turned off the lights, forgot the tickets or left the toaster plugged in after they leave for the airport. Me? I'm back on the 7th floor for an

4 11, 2015

Trick or Treat: I’m checking out today

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I was just emerging from a five day long, near coma on Halloween. That didn't stop my sister, Joan, from decorating my room top to bottom: These skeletons are clearly visible to the main hallway; Joan has been complimented for her spooky efforts to help distract me and others from our unpleasant captivity. Here's a

2 11, 2015

Day 12: Houston, we have lift-off!

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Remember being a teenager and getting yelled at for staying in the shower too long? Or dealing with a son or granddaughter for using up all of the hot water? Check this out: I can finally smile! It was an excruciating week. For three or for long days I was a mess; all drugged up,

29 10, 2015

Off the grid

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No kind volunteer to step up and write for me today. One advantage to being an inpatient: I didn't need caregivers over difficult to staff Halloween weekend. That's fine, but only works if there aren't any complications. I endured a major extra hurdle this summer; a nasty VRE requiring a month on IV antibiotics. Now