Living with multiple myeloma: A good time to reach out to a friend

clinic recognition, there and recall challenges by Phillip Jeffrey, on Flickr”>Week 5 chemo complete: Remembering, recognition, and recall challengesMemories slipping away

Chemo treatment and living with multiple myeloma + anemia have reduced my cognitive abilities to remember things, recognize people, and recall information. I rely on calendars digital notes, and memory cues to help me through each day. These strengths that once felt solid as a rock, are fading away.

Like sand slipping through my fingers.

Last Sunday I completed my 1st week of Cycle 2. On March 9th, I had a Complete Blood Count. It is a common blood test (1 test tube) I have every 2 weeks that examines my general health during chemo treatment.

Hematology Profile
Date WBC Hemoglobin Platelet Count Neutrophils
Reference Range 4.0 – 11.0 135 – 170 150 – 400 2.0 – 8.0
Mar 6.8 127 467 5.2
Feb 5.5 133 191 4.6
Jan 4.4 129 206 2.3

The results showed that my white blood cells, neutrophils, blood platelets, and hemoglobin were all within/almost within normal range. This is good, it means that there isn’t a negative reaction to treatment. Each month I have a more comprehensive blood test that measure my cancer levels. My next one is on Monday. Last week, I had the hiccups occasionally, a side effect of the steroid dexamethasone, but they went away after 10-15 minutes. Each week I’m feeling progressively more tired, but that is to be expected as my weight increases and with the cumulative effect of treatment.

March Complete Blood Count (CBC) testWaiting for my blood test

I enjoy taking self-portraits about my life as a multiple myeloma patient. I feel that I can provide awareness for anyone touched by cancer that may be interested in my chemo experiences.

To recap: I have Multiple Myeloma and anemia, a rare blood cancer. It is incurable, but treatable. From February to November 2013, I received Velcade chemo through weekly in-hospital injections as an outpatient. From February 9th 2015, I am on Pomalyst and dexamethasone chemo treatment (Pom/dex).

Photos related to my Pomalyst chemo treatment can be viewed in my flickr album.

Sixth and WillowJune 2014: Sixth and Willow
erectile
on Flickr”>Week 6 chemo complete: A good time to reach out to a friendReaching out to a friend

When you feel overwhelmed by chemo side effects such as pain, fatigue, or nausea;
When you forgo private gatherings and public events for quiet time in your room;
When you use your phone to check the weather, rather than looking out your window;
When you forget the last time you breathed fresh air;
When you feel your world turning grey, and see cloudy skies on the horizon.

Reach out to a friend. They will add sunshine to your life.

Don’t face the challenges of chemo alone.

On Sunday, I completed my 6th week of chemo treatment (Cycle 2, Week 2). Overall, I’m feeling a bit more fatigued each week, which is to be expected. I use the opportunity to nap whenever I can. I don’t overexert myself.

I enjoy taking self-portraits about my life as a multiple myeloma patient. I feel that it is important to use various social media channels to let others touched by cancer know about my chemo treatment and related side effects. It is really helping me cope and I enjoy planning out my weekly photos.

To recap: I have Multiple Myeloma and anemia, a rare blood cancer. It is incurable, but treatable. From February to November 2013, I received Velcade chemo through weekly in-hospital injections as an outpatient. From February 9th 2015, I am on Pomalyst and dexamethasone chemo treatment (Pom/dex).

Photos related to my Pomalyst chemo treatment can be viewed in my flickr album.

Cherry Blossoms at Old Barn Community Centre UBCApril 2014: Old Barn at UBC

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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