Friday, February 8, 2013

Follow Up With Dr Phan

Earlier this week, I was tired. Super tired. Typically 3-4 days after chemo, I am tired. I've come to expect it. But the tiredness this week was much more intense. I even left work early to come home and sleep. That hadn't happened in over a year.

I thought I might be overly low on blood. And naturally, with this tiredness comes a worry about the myeloma. But we did lab work and my counts weren't too bad. And now it's Friday and I feel great. Worked out this morning, getting in shape. The tiredness has passed.

Nonetheless, I wanted to follow up with Dr Phan. I just came home from that follow up, and he reminded me why he such a great doctor and why I am so lucky to have him.  He explains stuff and he explains stuff in a way that non medical people can understand. Berenson is a great doctor, but he's not real chatty. So we rely on Phan to answer our questions.

Phan's take on my tiredness is that the non stop steroids are taking a toll on my body's natural adrenal system and is not at all an indication of anything the cancer is doing.  Typically, the brain sends a signal to the adrenal gland to produce a natural steroid that gives us energy.  But what might be happening to me is that my adrenal gland is in sleep mode. Because of the steroids I take the brain rarely needs to send a signal to my adrenal gland. But when I come off my steroid high, the brain does send a signal, but the gland is snoozing and doesn't respond.  Hence fatigue. 

Steroids are a hugely important aspect of my chemo treatment, so I'm not going to get rid of them.  My routine is such that I get a massive dose during chemo.  In every other non chemo day, I take a different steroid via pill at home. But there's a 48 hour gap between the infusion steroid and the home steroid. Phan's suggestion is to make it a 24 hour gap between the infusion and the home steroids.  My routine was developed by Berenson, so we'll bounce this off of him.

Things are good though.

1 comment:

  1. I do like City Mex by The Home Depot.
    And there is a hill walking group that meets weekly in Signal Hill, but I never quite made it. Prep for the stair climb?


Inching Towards Seven

In less than two months it will be seven years since my myeloma diagnosis. That means that more than 12% of my life has been spent with myel...