Monday, August 23, 2010

August 2010 Test Results

By now, you're probably getting tired of hearing this litany: good blood chemistries; no bad monoclonal proteins; somewhat depressed blood cell counts. The Christiana oncologist: "I'm happy." Which seems a bit of an understatement, given the increasingly bubbly demeanor he is exhibiting during my monthly visits to his office. "It's not about me," he says when this is pointed out to him; but he's clearly enjoying the absence of drama in my case. "You were really sick -- a couple of times." And now I'm out of the woods -- for now, at least.

At some point recently, I realized that I had been taking omeprazole for what seemed like forever, and couldn't remember why. The oncologist thinks it was originally to protect my tummy from the ravages of the steroid dexamethasone; but I haven't been taking any of that since before the stem cell transplant, and it was included in the list of medications that I brought home from Johns Hopkins in January. In any case, I am now at liberty to drop it; but if doing so causes problems then I can just take it up again. So I have stopped taking it for now, which leaves me with just the prescriptions for Revlimid and allopurinol, and the monthly shot of Aredia.

I continue to try to strengthen myself against the collateral damage done by the cancer last year. I can now cover two miles on the treadmill in less than 35 minutes. I am gradually increasing the weight I will consider trying to lift and carry. My stamina is much improved. I am hovering in the vicinity of my "normal" adult weight. The pain of fractured ribs and vertebrae is slowly diminishing. I consider myself to be on track to return to work sometime in the fall.

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