Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We are enjoying the day in our new apartment at Fox Hill Village. Finally - Hooray! More about that later.

Yesterday, we went to Dana Farber - got there at 9:00 and left at 4:00 and did not get treatment. Apparently, the blood from the first lab draw had coagulated, so they had to redraw (which of course meant stabbing me again). When that result came back, my phosphorus was too low. I didn't even know that I HAD phosphorous. Anyway, they made me eat yogurt and drink milk and Coca Cola. Then they drew more blood and tested that - to find that the phosphorous level had not changed, so they kicked me out and told me to come back in a week.

What this means is that I will end up having two weeks of "break" instead of one week. It will be interesting to see what the numbers look like after this longer break. Meanwhile, the numbers we have so far from yesterday look pretty good - in that they are down slightly.

Here is what the graph looks like:

I have been feeling pretty good during this last cycle. Still tired, but not as tired as I had been. Foot bottoms are still pretty numb - and might be getting worse. They are doubling up on the drugs they are giving me to combat this. These drugs sometimes make me dizzy. Next maybe they will give me something for the dizziness. And that will probably cause some other side effect and then they will give me something else to combat that and so on. 

But enough about cancer and its treatment. I would rather talk about moving back into Fox Hill. We have been coming down here and staying in the guest suite when it is available. That has been a real pain; it felt like we were moving twice a week. Now that we have our own place, we can come and go as we want and we plan to have New Hampshire stuff and Massachusetts stuff - which means No More Moving.  The apartment came out very well and we are very happy with the result. The first thing I did was to set up my office and get the internet working. Barbara  has spent the last few days organizing her shoes. She also spent a little time on the kitchen. This has been taking a long time because, for reasons that I do not understand, every dish, pan, glass and item of silver has to be rewashed before it can be placed. Fortunately, we have the same kind of dishwasher that we have in New Hampshire, so we already know how to work it. We can't say the same for the other stuff. It took me 10 minutes to figure out how to heat water on the stove top. On Monday, we will call MIT to see if they offer courses on how to operate the washer and dryer.

Here are a couple of photos: 

My office:

The kitchen:

Since we will be seeing the doctors again next week, I will try to do another blog update then.  

Meanwhile, I am supposed to load up on stuff that is high in phosphorous.  I looked phosphorous up on Wikipedia and found that it will glow in the dark and that it is used for incendiary bombs and matches. Looks like I will be staying away from open flames for a while. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mystery Shirt

As you may have noticed, I try not to update the blog unless I have something to report. Normally, the updates are after a visit with a doctor, but this one is not, so there is noting very new on the medical front. I will say that I am still solidly on the plateau and the numbers that have come in since the last update confirm this. It would be good if they were dropping, but at least they are not going up.

The reason for this update is that I received a mystery gift in the mail about a week ago. It was a very humorous shirt which I really like. Unfortunately, there was no indication as to who it was who sent the gift. Here is a photo of the shirt being modeled by a particularly attractive male model:

So - I am guessing that whoever sent the shirt is a blog reader. To you, whoever you are, 'fess up if you want - or not if you wish to remain anonymous. Either way, know that I am enjoying the shirt.

Thank you.

Meanwhile, our renovation continues and seems to be on track for us to move back into our unit during Thanksgiving week. We are anxious to have our own place again. A friend slipped this cartoon under our door. I really feel like this guy:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Still on the plateau

As I write this, it is Saturday and we are currently at Fox Hill Village. I will be heading into Dana Farber this morning for another velcade injection and then back here. Later this afternoon we will be going on a gallery tour in Boston. I will thus be exposed to art. Perhaps this will be good for me.

Mostly, I am feeling OK, but I get tired very easily. Last week was "Break Week" during which we could stay in NH and I could work on my various projects - except that I was limited to what I could do in a day before I got really tired. I get out of breath and often need to sit for a while. Sometimes, I get very sleepy and I take frequent long naps.

I am still working on my "bowling". I managed to get four very large fresh oak logs, each being 20 inches in length and 20 inches in diameter. I cut them into reasonable bowl-sized pieces with the chain saw. Barbara thinks this sort of activity could contribute to my being tired.

The other thing is that the numbness in my feet gets worse every cycle. They now have me taking yet another pill to help with that. It seems to be working. I worry that these will create some other side-effect and then I will need another pill for that and so on. . .

I am just starting Cycle 7 of 8 cycles. According to the labs from Wednesday, I seem to still be on the plateau although one of the numbers is down a bit which is good. What they are hoping is that over time, the numbers will start to come down even more. Apparently this would not be unusual. They are still hoping to get the numbers down enough for me to have a Stem Cell Transplant.

I just learned that in December, I will go to a "Maintenance Mode". The difference will be that I will get Velcade and Dexamethasone only half as often - which is great because that means only one day per week at Dana Farber and thus no need to stay at Fox Hill for several days each week. In other words, just when we get to move into our renovated apartment here, we won't have to be here as much. Funny the way things work out. But there is a good chance that with winter approaching, we will choose to spend more time here "down south" in Massachusetts.

Speaking of which, the apartment has reached a point where we can see progress every time we drop by. The kitchen cabinets and counter tops are in and they look great. The washer, dryer and dishwasher have been delivered and are ready to install. They are painting the walls.

Entry Area


Barbara's Office Area off Kitcen

We have told the builders that we are moving back in on November 24. Does this mean that they will be done by then? I did not say that. What we have told them is that we are moving in on that day. It could be interesting. We just dropped by an hour or so ago and there were 5 guys working there, even though it is a Saturday. I think we have their attention.

Still, we drop by at least twice a day on days we are here at Fox Hill Village. For example, we visited late last night and again first thing this morning because, according to Barbara, "it will look different in daylight". Barbara loves visiting and seeing the progress. I think she is trying to plan her closet to maximize the number of shoes that she can fit.