Thursday, November 21, 2013

An extra trip to Boston

My first round of chemo was officially completed Tuesday night. Hooray! So far, the side effects have been minimal. Some of my taste buds are a bit numb - others are fine. Makes stuff taste weird, but this is not a big problem. I don't seem to get hungry, but I eat anyway and feel fine afterwards. My lower back still hurts when I stand up or walk around for too long, but that is not a side effect - it is one of the things they are trying to fix. It is a little better this week than it was last week.

So, we were supposed to have a week off from driving to Boston. Except that Tuesday afternoon, we got a call from the cancer docs regarding the sodium thing. They came up with a theory that it was caused by pseudohyponatremia (easy for you to say). What they are saying is that my sodium levels might be OK, but that other crap in my blood (from the cancer) is messing up the readings. They wanted me to see a doctor who specializes in nephrology for people with blood cancers,. Now, this is getting pretty specialized if you ask me, but I guess you want specialists.

Which meant that Barbara and I got to hop into the car again yesterday morning and make another schlep to Boston. We met with the doctor and chatted for 15 minutes. He sent us down to the labs for more blood samples (big surprise there, right?) and then sent us home. He said that he should get results on Friday.

If it turns out that the low sodium readings are due to pseudohyponatremia (don't you just love that word), it will probably mean that I can get the Velcade infusions, even if the readings are too low. It does worry me a bit that my blood is in such rough shape that the machines can't deal with it, but I will worry about that later.

So, for now, I am sitting hear, relaxing and waiting for my medical insurance broker to show up to help me register for a new insurance plan for next year. (If you like your insurance plan you can keep it. . . ) Well - mine is one that is going away after next year. So, I am switching over to another plan with a much lower deductible which should save me a fair bit of money. 


  1. This is not fair if you get to do ALL the talking Warren. Glad to know you're getting your meds without too many side effects other than becoming a salty old dog! Opening day at Vail tomorrow -- we'll be there next year! I'm thinking I might trade you side effects, as my main one seems to be belly bloating -- a little disconcerting to look 6 mos. pregnant all the time AND have wrinkles. After all, I did this four times -- I really don't need to do it again! Keep up the good work! Trixie

  2. Words like pseudohyponatremia make me regret never taking latin! Did a cursory examination of what that condition could be caused by, and it may be partially due to the fact that you took your high sodium meals with lots of fat :) Time to invest in a salt lick?
    - Tina