Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Well, it has been a while since my last update. Fortunately, I guess, nothing really has changed. I am now in the middle of Cycle 36 with each cycle being 21 days long. I visit Dana Farber on days 1 and 8 so that they can do a blood test and give me a shot of Velcade. The visit itself is not particularly unpleasant since I get to chat with all my cute chemo-nurse friends, but going in to Dana Farber is a bit inconvenient, especially during the summer when we would rather be in New Hampshire enjoying the short summer.

My numbers are holding steady. Well, actually, they are dropping slightly, but they are still not quite as low as they were just before my bout in the hospital when then took me off of chemo. The side effects continue to be manageable. There are a bunch of small side effects that I barely notice, but the two worst ones are cramps and (how shall I put this delicately) "digestive issue".

The cramps occur mostly at night and mostly in my legs, though I sometimes get them in my hands and lower ribs during the day.

A month or so ago, my brother sent me a link to web site that says the solution to nighttime leg cramps is to sleep with a bar of soap. I think he was mostly being funny. I mean, really? Soap? It seems like they are actually suggesting that I go to bed with a bar of soap.

Well after a couple of pretty bad nights, I thought, "What the heck? It can't hurt to give it a try - as long as nobody finds out". So, I dropped a bar of soap into a sock (a clean sock) and put it into the bed. And I woke up at around 3:30 and thought, "I don't have leg cramps. And I have not been up three or four times. Could the soap be working?" Same thing the next night.

Since then, I have been sleeping with a bar of soap every night. Now, fact is that I still get cramps some nights, even with the soap, but it SEEMS like I don't get as many or as severely if I have the soap.

But here is the question: Is it the soap or is it my imagination or the placebo effect? Maybe I will try to come up with some sort of scientific test. Not sure how I will do it. Anyway, for now at least, I will continue my relationship with the soap.

Meanwhile, we have been enjoying the New Hampshire summer, and trying to get the boat ready to put into the water. I won't bore you with the details, but I have run into one problem after another. But I am firmly committed to getting the boat launched by Labor Day. Don't laugh. That is when the lake gets quiet and peaceful. Anyway, I think I am pretty close to working out the last problem or two.

Right now, I am in Westwood looking forward to a Dana Farber visit tomorrow. After that, I am heading down to Northeast Pennsylvania to visit my brothers and also to pick up a "free" camping / travel trailer which one of my brothers and I will tow back to New Hampshire. This is a somewhat long story and since the story is still in the first phases, I will wait until the next cancer blog update to tell you about it.

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