Friday, March 16, 2012

Maintenance

Huh? That was our reaction today at Berenson. He mentioned that after the upcoming cycle of chemo we'll talk about moving to the maintenance phase. Good news for sure, but also a little scary. Several months ago, we had abandoned our 3rd different mix of drugs and I was thinking I might not see 2012. Nothing was working. Then we changed to Treanda (along with some other drugs). Treanda isn't a myeloma drug and as Berenson said today, I might be the only person in the world on this Treanda mix. But it works, and I feel great and my numbers reflect my improvement. I don't feel 100%....not where I was before having cancer. And my numbers aren't saying I am in complete remission. But we're almost at a point where we have this thing under control. What is maintenance you may ask. Well it means I take a few drugs at home, do regular labs and keep our eye on this. It essentially means myeloma is more of a chronic disease. That is a million times better than where I was a few months back.

Typically 8 cycles of chemo is the max for myeloma. More than that takes a toll on the body. After all poisons are being pumped into the body. I've been real lucky, I haven't had any huge adverse side effects from chemo. But given my improvement and that unseen physical toll that the chemo drugs can have, Dr B is thinking with my next visit, after this upcoming cycle, we might want to discuss moving to maintenance.

This is awesome news, but also scary, as I said. It took so long to get this shit under control, that I don't want to give it any chance to come back. I'm used to chemo, I'm in a routine, and it works. So the thought of stopping is a bit anxiety inducing. But I am jumping the gun a bit, I need to get through this next cycle and then we'll have the conversation with Berenson.

Doc Berenson was also pleased and surprised with my kidney improvement.He hasn't seen a lot of kidneys come back from how bad mine were. But like everything else with this disease, I'm an oddball and an outlier.

Lastly, I think Dr Berenson deserves some real kudos. I made sure to thank him today. He's put together a treatment program that works and I feel good. So forward we go.

2 comments:

  1. Going foward is a good thing. Congradulations! sis

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  2. Tremendous, my friend!!!!

    - Todd Donoho

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