Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Week Ahead

Dateline Sunday.  I made it to the gym yesterday and today. Very light workouts.  First workouts in a month.  Continued recovery from surgery.  But still not 100%. Actually not even close to 100%. But way better. I'm also coming down from my two week chemo cycle.  As usual the dex rollercoaster is in full effect.  Friday I felt like a mother fucking champ.  Strong, happy, energetic.  (note; two thumbs up to Dawn of Planet of the Apes).  Now I'm dealing with the other mixed bag of emotions that come with dex.  As always, this is the challenging time.  I need to fight through this and continue to do what I need to do. Exercise, eat right, minimize stress, and yes, rest.  I can definitely feel the workouts. Even without the myeloma, I'm 52, so the body is slowing down.

Tomorrow it's back to work.  My hardest two weeks in 3 years were the past two weeks. I've gotten past that, and tomorrow and this week ought to be a piece of cake.  In terms of myeloma, not a heck of a lot to do this week. Thursday I'm doing my 24 urine collection, followed by blood work Friday morning. Results a few days after that.  Then a Berenson appointment and then we'll know what my treatment looks like going forward. Fingers crossed I go back to maintenance. That shit is easy. Once every other week. Piece of cake.  I feel like I know my body pretty well now and can predict my results. But, I'm not sure what my numbers look like. If we recall, my myeloma impacts my kidneys. The cancer puts out paraprotein (bad protein), that goes through and damages my kidneys. The goal is to keep the paraprotein number as low as possible and let my kidneys rest.  When I was first diagnosed, I peed a lot. A lot. And that's because I was putting out a whole lot of paraprotein.  Lately, how much I pee has increased. Nothing like before, but more than I had been. But my recent small blood work shows no changes, so the increased pee could mean nothing. As we've discussed, that's the mystery of myeloma. You have to live life, enjoy life, not obsess over myeloma, yet be mindful of myeloma.  See the challenge there.

Also this Friday I get my port-a-cath aka port put back in.  It goes in the upper chest, just below the clavicle, under the skin. We can only use my right arm for infusion, blood draws, etc. My left arm has the never used fistula that makes it off limits. (note: fingers crossed that thing never gets used). So my right arm has taken a beating of late. The port will be nice, it makes infusion so darn easy. But it does restrict the type of exercise I can do. No heavy or repetitive shoulder lifts. That's what happened to my previous port, I think my working out damaged and irritated it, and we had to take it out. It's been awesome having it out. While on maintenance and without a port for nearly a year, it was like cancer didn't exist in my world.  So there is a psychological aspect of getting the port back. It'll be ok though, just part of the journey.  Again, anyone with thoughts on how I can work shoulders and upper body without damaging the port, please let me know.  And lastly, here's a photo of my previous port.

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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.