Velcade chemo treatment cycle 6 week 2: Video and Photos

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Friday was one of the most interesting days in my chemo experience. It began with a trip to the Vancouver Food Bank. Cancer has been particularly debilitating mentally, stomach physically, symptoms as well as financially and I’m not able to adequately feed myself as I don’t have any income. I wondered what the experience would be like ahead of time as I took the bus there with a million thoughts going through my head. Thankfully the experience was 100% positive.

A couple of the people associated with the food bank came over to me while I was waiting and engaged me in conversation about life, which was nice, as well as answered questions I had about the process of getting food. When the doors opened, I first had to register as a new food bank user and then I was able to collect the different groceries they offered to me.

Thank you Vancouver Food Bank!Thank you Vancouver Food Bank!

Another positive was a gentleman ahead of me in line that helped me along through the different stations, again everyone was super nice and friendly. One of the highlights was getting apples. I can’t remember the last time I could afford fruit, maybe 2012 and I certainly haven’t had apples probably since 2011 or 2010. I had one yesterday after dinner and it was yummy!

Velcade Chemo Treatment: Cycle 6, Week 2Week 27 of chemo

I then went home and took my cyclophosphamide, which is chemo (10 pills 50mg, 1 pill 25mg) and dexamethasone, which is a steroid (10 pills 4mg). This is my 27th week of chemo treatment so I have formed my pills as a 27. I then had breakfast – standard scrambled eggs and bread.

My chemo drugsCancer drugs I take at home

Later in the day, I travelled to my chemo appointment. We each have a chart that we use to self-report ourselves as we have to do our own blood pressure, oxygen saturation, pulse, and temperature, while waiting for the nurse to bring our chemo. In addition, there is a post-it note with our name that we put on the wall beside the door, so the nurse knows what room we are waiting in.

Velcade Chemo Treatment: Taking my blood pressureTaking my blood pressure

My numbers:
Temperature: 36.7
Blood Pressure: 132/81
Oxygen Saturation: 98
Pulse: 80

There was a note attached to my chart that listed the future dates I would have chemo appointments and I noticed that an additional cycle (4 weeks of in-hospital chemo, 1 week off) had been tacked on. This means rather than finishing my chemo in September as I originally thought, I will continue until mid October. It was a bit of a shock as I had mentally prepared to be finished chemo soon, but I’m guessing that the specialist would like my cancer levels (Aug 7.3 igG) to be lower. So this means I will have 6 cycles of chemo treatment rather than 5. I’m staying positive and I’m not going to let this get me down.

Velcade Chemo TreatmentVelcade chemo injections
The chemo went well. It was quick and painless. I had two injections in my right side of my stomach- one was 1.4mg of Velcade chemo and the other was 1.5mg.

Just to give a recap, I am living with Multiple Myeloma (blood cancer). Since February 2013, I have been 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 treatment. You can read the background on my diagnosis and previous treatments on my blog.

BC Cancer Agency: Mission, Vision, Values
BC Cancer Agency

You can view my self-portrait project on flickr.

I took this photo a week ago in one of the parking lots on campus.

Found a circle, struck a poseFound a circle

You can also view photos related to my ongoing treatment here.

About tyfn

From December 2019 I've been on Darzalex (daratumumab) IV chemo with Velcade (Bortezomib) injection chemo + dexamethasone. Have Multiple Myeloma + anemia, a rare incurable cancer of the immune system. Life goal: To spread awareness about Multiple Myeloma through my self-portraits. UBC MSc Grad.
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