Friday, December 21, 2012

Buffalo Hump goes round the outside.

Chemo yesterday. Brief meeting with Dr Phan. All is good. He's happy with my progress.  But as I discussed in a previous post, as we get "into the weed" on this myeloma. I have other things to think about.

  • My Port-- Port of Matt Goldman of Long Beach if you will.  Remember a couple of weeks ago, we thought it might be infected or had shifted out of its proper location. Neither was the case. Good news.  But it's more likely that working out and doing weight training where I raise my arms above my shoulders is causing the tube to move around a bit and irritate the surrounding tissue. Hence swelling and redness.  Further, people have had the tube pop out from under the skin. Not common but it has happened.  Well that's annoying. I've have the energy to work out almost as I used to. Plus, weight bearing exercise is key to keeping bone strength.  My bones aren't necessarily impacted by the myeloma. But the massive dose of steroids is wearing down the bones.  So the question is how do I do weight bearing exercise on the upper body without irritating the port? Any suggestions? Anyone? Also should I consider taking the port out? That's not really an option for me. The port is such a better way to do infusion. I don't want to start doing infustion with a new needle going in my arm every couple of weeks. I already get weekly blood tests.  So I'm left with modifying the workout program.  Help please.
  • Steroid Side Effects-- There's the effects on the bones that I just mentioned. There is also something called the buffalo hump effect.  Between the shoulder blades on the back can get a little enlarged and rounded. Well that's cool. Phan told me this yesterday and said buffalo hump is used in a sort of derogatory way.  I like buffalo, but not sure I want to look like one. Leslie called it correctly right then...she knew I'd obsess about it. I'm not exactly obsessing, but I am thinking about it a lot. Semantics perhaps.  There's also the puffy face. I already have that. My face is definitely rounding out. The beard kind of covers it, but I'm about ready to shave the beard and mentally have to be ready for the round face. This is a tough one for me, just because as I indicated, I've had a weight issue my whole life. So even though I'm getting into shape and dropping pounds, that fat face stays. Also a side note on my steroids, I'm not even getting steroids that promote muscle building. Conversely, my steroids tend to break down the muscle along with bone. Again a catch 22. I need to work out, but I need a custom cancer workout, if you will.
And that's it.  Still have some sniffles. Have some steroid induced adrenaline today, but the sniffles are counterbalancing the rage a bit.  Sunday is my monthly 24 hour urine day.  Monday is blood work. Tuesday is Christmas, going to Matt and Rich's house. And Friday the 28th is monthly Berenson visit.

Work calmed down a bit and I adjusted my attitude, so not feeling overwhelmed. I can only do what I can do.

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Berenson Oncology Success Rate

 Some reading about my myeloma specialist's success rate. A press release and an article from Targeted Oncology.