Friday, December 13, 2013

Shave Ice vs Real Ice

I haven't written much in a while. Just hasn't been much to say regarding my myeloma. That's a good thing. As I noted a couple of days ago, my creatinin dropped to a new low. My kidneys are slowing improving AND the myeloma remains in check. 31 months and counting.

Over the past several months, we've added to my diet. In moderation, I'm able to eat things that have significant phosphorus or potassium. For a long time, those things we absolute no nos. They strain the kidneys. Beans, dairy, chocolate, potatoes, bananas, soy, nuts were some of the things I needed to avoid. Now I can have those in small quantities. The drawback with this dietary freedom is that it is holiday time. There is a whole lot of chocolaty, nutty, delicious treats floating around the office. I'm a sucker for these things. Self control on chocolate is not my strongest asset.  Often it's easier to say no absolutely to something as opposed to having a little taste. Once I get that taste look out. So I'm really trying my best at work to avoid or minimize my intake. Yesterday I did allow myself a couple of chocolate cookies. So good. I actually shoveled a handful into my mouth. I've worked real hard to drop the 25 pounds I had gained due to my steroids and lack of activity. I want to keep it off, so I'm telling myself to say no to treats. What do we want? No treats! When do we want it? Never !!

Anyhow, two weeks ago, we were in Maui. They have shave ice in Maui that is awesome. What makes it awesome is the mound of vanilla ice cream that is hidden beneath the flavored ice. Seriously sweet and seriously delicious. Before my kidney improvement, something like this would have been off limits. In Maui, I allowed myself overall freedom from the diet restrictions. I mean, come on, I had to. But what is nice is that my latest blood showed the lower creatinin number. This is post vacation. No damage done by the shave ice (and other stuff).

Today I am flying to Minnesota. I'm meeting my brother, Seth, there. Many many thanks to Seth for this trip. Sunday we're going to a Vikings game. Saturday though we are actually going to the Vikings headquarters for a tour, to watch practice and to meet players. How excited am I? Hugely!!  Seth's connections made this happen. Normally, this is reserved for kids...usually kids with illness. I think it's almost like a make a wish thing. Seth had told his people that his little brother has cancer and is a Vikings fan, really just to help justify a request for game tickets. But this Saturday is a massive bonus. I joke, but I am a little worried that they will think I'm a fraud. I don't look like a little brother with cancer. I don't look like what people expect someone with cancer to look like. I pondered shaving my eye brows and head to look a little more sickly. But I'm going as I am.

It's about ten degrees in Minnesota. The weather is almost the polar opposite of Hawaii weather. It's gonna be cold and icy. I fly this morning. I packed last night. I'm not used to the super cold weather, so it was hard to decide what to take. In all likelihood, I over packed. For instance, do I wear the same thermal top every day or a different one each day. I opted to bring a different one for each day. I am bringing multiple gloves, wool hats, lots of heavy sock. I'm a little deficient on good footwear for cold, snowy, icy weather. I am a little worried about that. Maybe I'll get some boots while there.

Next week I'll be back home. I have chemo next Thursday, which will wrap up another cycle of maintenance. Normally I see Berenson after a cycle wraps up. But with the holidays it might be tough to squeeze in a visit. However, if I do my big monthly labs, I should see continued stability and missing one visit won't be a big deal.

And that's my update. I'm doing good. I had a little cold that I fought through (Leslie had it bad). Time for me to shower and go to the airport. The trip begins.

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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.