I am feeling really happy that I have decided to document my Velcade chemo treatment via social media. It is helping me cope with the side effect of chemo and overall effects of my Multiple Myeloma and I’m hoping that others are being educated by my digital storytelling. In addition, I am taking daily self-portraits at UBC as a healing mechanism
daily challenges I face as an out-patient on chemo medication (daily pills, weekly pills, and weekly hospital injections).
To recap, I am living with Multiple Myeloma (blood cancer) and since February 2013 I am on my 4th chemo treatment called Velcade, which are weekly in-hospital injections, in addition to a variety of other pills I take to supplement my chemo. You can read the background on my diagnosis and previous treatments on my blog.
Each week I take dexamethasone (steroid) and cyclophosphamide (chemotherapy) (10 pills with breakfast) and a self-portrait that illustrates the particular week of treatment it is. Not only is it my 2nd week of Cycle 4, it is my 17th week in total. Each cycle is five weeks long and I have 6 cycles of treatment in total.
Overall, I felt a bit more tired this week. I don’t feel chronic fatigue or feel that I can’t leave my bed. It is more I believe due to the added weight on my body because of the weekly dexamethasone (steroid) pills and just having Multiple Myeloma in general.
I’m staying positive and focused on loving life.
My chemo treatment at the hospital went well. I arrived, found a spare room and self-reported my blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation, and pulse on my chart. Then my nurse arrived to give me a CBC (complete blood count), which is a blood test that provides four main results that monitor how I’m responding to treatment.
White Blood Count 2.4 (normal 4-11)
Neutrophils 1.1 (normal 2-8)
Hemoglobin 125 (normal 135-170)
Blood Platelets 241 (normal 150-400)
I took this photo earlier in the week. It was in the early evening as the sun was setting. Photography makes me happy.
You can view my self-portrait project on flickr.