Tuesday, January 29, 2013
My third cycle of Velcade and Revlimid began yesterday with labs and Velcade injection at the Alpharetta clinic. My Alpharetta doctor was interested and concurred that my Emory doctor wanted greater results on lowering the m-spike of myeloma. He has a benchmark that he wants the spike to be before the harvesting of stem cells. The super chemo will be infused at Emory during a hospital stay. The transplanting of my harvested stem cells back into the long bones of my body will follow this at Emory. That hospital stay will be at least two weeks because of a compromised immune system.
Who knows what the labs will show that were taken this week? My guess is that the combo will need to be changed to get down to a spike of 2. So, I may be skipping Cycle Four of Velcade/Revlimid at Alpharetta. If that happens I will have a super chemo cocktail (DCEP) dexamethasone (steroids), cyclophosphamide, etoposide, cisplatin administered in its stead at Emory. This will entail a hospital stay of four or five days, since it is stronger. Editorial comment: I am all about aggressive treatment, I would just like to avoid hospitals after my last stay in a hospital of 35 days. I know that my friends and family can relate to that quirk! This treatment and stay is not to be confused with the transplant which will be the two week stay in hospital.
It is gratifying to know that cycles and drug combos are not static and can be tailored to fit patient needs. Treatments after the transplant may be done as part of a maintenance program to keep blood work in acceptable parameters.
My Emory doctor, in a matter-of-fact manner, said that he has Plan B and Plan C available for me when needed. I think he has been through this a few times before! I put my faith in God to guide these brilliant doctors and well-trained nurses and aides on my transplant team. I thank my family and friends for your help in prayers and making sure the “good times are still rolling.”
Mike at the Infusion Lab at Atlanta Cancer Care (now affiliated with The Northside Cancer Center).
January 29, 2013