Sunday, June 10, 2012

More Miscellanea

My apologies for leaving everything hanging for three months, but I've been busy. First, the most recent tests continue to show slightly elevated kappa free light chains, but only slightly. The trend is back towards the normal range. There is no evidence of monoclonal proteins. So the oncologist is pretty relaxed about things right now. He is suggesting that I resume the monthly Aredia infusions (discontinued almost a year ago, in preparation for the extraction of tooth #27), since a set spinal MRIs taken in April indicated some improvements vs. the lytic lesions generally (on one hand), but some additional compression of T8 (on the other). Assuming the medical insurance will work for this, we plan to do this in July.

We did manage to carry out a successful three-week reconnaissance of Indochina in May. Christiana Hospital turned out to have its own travel medicine practice, so there was no need to return to Johns Hopkins. The travel doc, apprised of my situation, made no attempt to dissuade me from making the trip. She provided us with the necessary vaccinations (e.g. Hepatitis A and typhoid fever), as well as with some prophylactic anti-malaria pills (taken starting before the journey and continuing for a week after returning) and antibiotics (Cipro) for "traveller's diarrhea", should it occur. In the event, no one got hurt or ill on the trip, and a good time was had by all.

The biopsies on the tissue samples taken during the recent endoscopy turned up nothing. The GI doc is standing by his diagnosis of mild, "non-specific" (code for "we don't know where this is coming from") gastritis, but otherwise apparently has nothing to offer, at least based on the results of the endoscopy. The Xifaxan he had me try impacted my symptoms not one iota. I may follow up, but based on twenty years of on-again-off-again experience with GI specialists, it wouldn't be with any elevated hopes.

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