Week 20 chemo complete: I wish I was a little bit taller

online on Flickr”>Week 19 complete: Guess whose cancer levels dropped again?
Cancer levels keep going down!

Last Sunday I completed Cycle 5 Week 3. A week ago Monday, I had my monthly blood test and I’m happy to report that my cancer levels dropped again. As I’ve stated before, in BC, I can use an online service called myehealth, to get free access to my lab results as soon as available (around 24 hours). Recall I began chemo Feb 9th. The igG is my cancer marker.

The igG is my cancer marker. My multiple myeloma resides in the Beta 2 Globulin region. As noted below, my myeloma cells continue to decrease there.

Serum Proteins (Electrophoresis & Immunoglobulins) (g/L)
Date Albumin Beta Globulin 2 Gamma Globulin igG igA igM
Reference Range 34.0-53.0 1.8 – 4.8 5.1 – 15.0 6.7 – 15.2 .70 – 4.00 .40 – 2.30
June 41.2 15.2 3.9 16.5 .49 .40
May 42 17.2 2.5 18.7 .28 .33
Apr 44.4 19.2 1.5 21.4 .29 .41
Mar 39.1 27.1 2.6 27.5 .26 .50
Feb 38.9 33.9 3.0 36.1 .33 .53
Jan 39.3 30.6 3.7 33.4 .29 .22

As I previously stated, my Hematologist (specialist of blood diseases) wants my cancer levels to remain below 18.0, which is half of 36.1. Each day I try to remain positive, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and reduce stress in my life. Doing what I can to maximize treatment effectiveness, while minimizing chemo side effects and cancer symptoms.

My Hematology Profile is the Complete Blood Counts test I have every 2 weeks that measures my overall health.

Hematology Profile
Date WBC Hemoglobin Platelet Count Neutrophils
Reference Range 4.0 – 11.0 135 – 170 150 – 400 2.0 – 8.0
June 10.6 124 281 8.0
June 6.5 122 439 4.7
May 12.4 118 271 8.9
May 10.0 118 320 5.2
Apr 12.5 123 297 9.8
Apr 7.6 113 357 3.9
Mar 7.0 133 247 5.6
Mar 6.8 127 467 5.2
Feb 5.5 133 191 4.6
Jan 4.4 129 206 2.3

Thanks everyone for your ongoing encouragement and positive support!

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). On June 29th, I start Cycle 6.

Weekly chemo-inspired self-portraits can be viewed in my flickr album.

Steveston - Britannia ShipyardsMay 2014: Steveston – Britannia Shipyards
Sildenafil
on Flickr”>Week 16 chemo complete: Thinking about the futureThinking about the future

Each day I remain incredibly thankful that my Pomalyst chemo side effects have been so minimal. This is such a contrast from my Velcade chemo in 2013. It makes each day happier and gives me confidence to continue doing what I’m doing. I’m always thinking about my future, viagra buy
and the possibility that my side effects could worsen. However, here I’m not stressed, I remain calm. Everything’s going to be ok.

High positivity + low stress = minimal side effects

On Sunday I completed Cycle 4 Week 4. Last week I had my regular appointment (every 6 months) with my Glaucoma Specialist. I have had glaucoma scares in the past related to my treatment so I need to always be cautious. During my 2013 chemo, dexamethasone (oral steroid), increased my eye pressure requiring eye drops. Dexamethasone can also cause cataracts, so I’m thankful that my dosage has been reduced in half (20mg total) from June 1st (Cycle 5).

My eye pressure was normal, 14 in each eye. Afterwards, I had a Humphrey Machine visual field test. My face was placed in a machine where I acknowledged whenever I saw a flashing light in my periphery, so that any blind spots can be mapped out. lf the test results are different than in the past, I will see my Glaucoma Specialist later in the summer. As I haven’t received a call yet, I expect there weren’t any problems, meaning my next appointment will be in the Spring.

Humphrey Machine Visual Field TestJune 2012: Humphrey Machine Visual field test

Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement.

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). On June 1st, I began Cycle 5.

Weekly chemo-inspired self-portraits can be viewed in my flickr album.

North VancouverFebruary 2014: North Vancouver
view
on Flickr”>Week 20 chemo complete: I wish I was a little bit taller
I wish I was a little bit taller

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that will eat away at the bone marrow weakening bone structures and shortening the spine. One of its symptoms is that it causes patients to lose inches in their height. In my case, my height has also been affected from my T7 vertebrae collapsing during my 2013 Velcade chemo.

How cool would it be instead, if I gained a few inches due to cancer?

This self-portrait has been the most challenging one for me. I’m enjoying learning to express myself creatively through my photography. The depth perception in an open field really threw me off. It was difficult to estimate where ‘red shirt me’ should stand so that he would properly face ‘blue shirt me’.

Last Sunday I completed Cycle 5 Week 4. I really feel better since my dexamethasone (oral steroid) dosage was cut in half. I don’t feel as fatigued, don’t have hiccups much anymore, and my weight gain around my face and stomach has slowed down considerably.

Staying positive each day.

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). On June 29th, I started Cycle 6.

Weekly chemo-inspired self-portraits can be viewed in my flickr album.

Waiting on letters from a friendMay 2014: Waiting on letters from a friend

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.
This entry was posted in Cancer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Week 20 chemo complete: I wish I was a little bit taller

  1. Carol Wong says:

    I remember hearing that Tom Brokaw didn’t like loosing those inches either. I think his daughter is now taller than he is. I don’t know how you did the photo but it is great.

    Also love the pretty mailboxes.

    • tyfn says:

      Thanks. I was standing on a small container that was hidden by the grass. That photo is from Granville Island in Vancouver.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *