Thinking of John MaCcain 

This is in no way whatsoever a ploy to open political dialogue.  It’s about cancer. John MaCcain, the  80 year old Republican Senator from Arizona,  recently joined the fight against this menacing disease. Only he knows the path he will choose against in this latest challenge in his life. 

MaCcain, has glioblastoma, one of the most common but also one of the most malignant brain tumors that is apparently much more aggressive and puts him in a greater risk for death, short term, than I face with Multiple Myeloma. From my standpoint cancer is cancer. The diagnosis for MaCcain was based on a biopsy of the tissue removed from his brain on Friday during surgery at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Despite the dreary numbers lining up against him MaCcain could beat the odds and live a still productive life.   I could lose my battle at any time. Cancer is Cancer. 

MaCcain has beat some great odds already in his is life as a captured Vietnam War veteran which included a stay in the horrific  Hanoi Hilton. 

This fight with cancer will obviously be a greater test for him but I have found that with a strong family background, good doctors, lots of friends, and PRAYERS that cancer can be challenged. 

My Kidney Biopsy Report is In

Remember the very important Kidney Biopsy procedure I had a little more than a week ago to determine if my cancer is also spreading to my heart, a rare and serious condition known as Amyloidosis? Well, the final relults are in you can put a big mark the win column in my battle against multiple myeloma!!!! 

The results are very good, though my very personal fight against this nasty, sneaky, and life changing form of cancer still rolls on every day. The great news from my oncologist, Doctor Anderson, allows us all to breathe easier today. Here is a part of the email from Doctor Anderson. 

“Good news, no amyloidosis. 

I will have to see how your heart makers behave before deciding if we need to ask for a heart biopsy in the coming weeks but we may be able to avoid it since no signs of amyloid in the kidneys.”

Last week Doctor Anderson felt I was doing well enough, despite being visibly tired, that he felt it was ok give me a much needed week of from Chemo treatments. Now the good news about the kidney biopsy is delivered. Let’s all celebrate! Knowing we still have a long road to hoe. 

Update on busy Wednesday 

My Wednesday started at 5am and concluded at about 5pm, which is a load for a cancer patient. 

I have bad news and good news (yes, I hate that phrase too). My oncologist did not have any news for me about the kidney biopsy from last week. He simply has not heard any news as yet, which was a real bummer. 

The good news, came as big surprise to Melinda and I, was Doctor Anderson canceled the Chemo treatment for the day and sent us home. That was a first for me, and since as last weeks bwas a scheduled Chemo as time off means that for the first time I could enjoy back to back weeks without Chemo. I’ll take it! Doctor Anderson said that my overall numbers continue to show inprovment, but that I looked tired. Amen to that. He also mentioned that based on my numbers it’s ok to take some time off because, “we’ve got Melanoma on the run”. That felt good to hear. 

He also scheduled a blood transfusion for today, which I have been wanting to some time because my hemoglobin level is very low and is leading to Amemia and dizziness when I stand which is a leading reason for a couple of recent falls I’ve had. The last transfusion I had was a couple of months ago and was a big help. 

Surgery went well. For the most part. 

I have my port. To be specific I have my Power Port. The surgery to remove my chest catheter and install the port went well the other day, but not without a few bumps in the road. 

My son Evan was my ride for the day because I had very strict instructions that I would not be able to drive after the procedure. 

The appointment was for 9am, with the actual surgery for 11am and things were going well to start as I got checked into a nice room at UT Southwestern complete with a TV.  My nurse, Swann, was very nice and got me started with the usual taking of vital signs and so forth. All was good. 

Then, 11am past and became 11:30 and then noon and I started to get a little antsy as well as hungry and thirsty because I was fasting. I asked Evan to open the door because I wanted to reach out to the next person who walked by as to why this was taking so long? So, mI got the attention of the next nurse that walked by and explained my situation and she said she would go check why there was a delay. 

Another nurse, still no Swann, came in and a bit dramatically explained that they were having unforeseen problems with the surgery ahead of me but that it should be “just a bit longer” before they got to me. I inquired what type of procedure the person with the problems was having and she said the same as mine. Now I was late and nervous. 

Noon became 1pm and my hunger and thirst continued to grow, plus I imagined a team of doctors struggling to keep the poor person ahead of me alive. On top of that, Evan was watching soccer! 

Now i’m getting a bit angry and told the nurse that I needed a firm time or I would just reschedule the whole thing. Then I got to thinking that the main reason to get the port installed was so that I could take a shower for the first time since being in the hospital back in January. So, saying I wanted to come back another time was indeed a bluff. It wasn’t working anyway because I was told these things happen and they want to give the patient having issues the needed focus. I couldn’t argue with that. 

Finally, at around 2:30, they came to get me. Naturally I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to get things going. 

The surgery itself was pretty routine with one interesting tidbit. The doctor performing the procedure kept asking me if we had met before becaus my name was familiar and so was my voice. Then he asks if I had been in this hospital and went thru some confusion. I said said yes and he said that was it and that he was the one who installed the chest catheter back in January and that he remembered me because I was really sick and having a rough time. He said, “you look a lot better than you did that day”. 

They knocked me out and an hour later I had my port! 

Cardiologist visit today.

Good morning! Yesterday I wrote about having back to back dialysis and Chemo treatments, and as expected it left me wiped out for the rest of the day. I pretty much stayed in my chair and went to bed early at about 9pm. 

I feel better this morning at 4:30 which is good because I have another busy day in my trek to beat Multiple Myeloma

I have an appointment to see a cardiologist this morning as a referral from my oncologists.

 There is a concern than my cancer has been spreading to my heart. This is a complicated phase of Multiple Myeloma called Amyloidosis which in simple terms is the spreading of proteins to your heart by the cancer, which can be a bad thing. 

The Oncologist is sure this is happening but has told me that it is treatable once he knows the extent of it. That’s what the cardiologist should help with. I’m concerned, of course, but I trust the cardiologist I have. 

In the afternoon I have another Chemo treatment but I do not have Dialysis today so I should not feel so horrible after the treatment. 

Welcome to my blog 

Melinda thinks it’s a good idea to start my blog, probably to ease the pain on her ears as I blab away about battle with my cancer, Multiple Myeloma. Lol. That’s not true, but I do feel a desire to have a platform to keep family and friends informed and so rather than clog up Facebook with my thoughts I’d rather do it this way. 

I don’t know how often I will write. Maybe daily, maybe less. I think the disease my have a lot to say about that. But I do know I need your participation to make it worthwhile so please join the blog and leave feedback on my posts, as you have been doing on Facebook. It’s very important to me as I try to live with and despite of this terrible disease.