Friday, February 22, 2019

Mose Nose

I was not sure whether or not to do an update, but I could not resist the subject line. Actually, Barbara tells me that is it spelled "Mohs" rather than "Mose" but I took poetic license.

This morning, I had Mohs Surgery on my nose. Some time ago, I developed a sort of wart-looking thing on my nose. I liked it. Thought it added character to my visage. Barbara did not. She insisted that I visit a dermatologist. They said it was some sort of basal skin cell carcinoma. They recommended Mohs Surgery.

So, this was how we spent our morning. Not all that bad really. I now have a big bandage on my nose. It makes me look a little like Bozo the Clown, though the bandage is (unfortunately) white rather than red. They said I might end up with a black eye or two. I will tell people that Barbara hit me. They will no doubt express surprise that it she did not do so sooner.

All went well this morning and my "Mose Nose" seems to be well under controls.

Where I am not doing less well right now is that my Multiple Myeloma numbers are going up. This means that my doctor's latest treatment idea, avoiding the drug that he thinks caused my stroke, is not working. We need to meet with him soon to discuss other treatment options - of which he says there are quite a few. On the other hand, he does not seem to be in that much of a hurry because he says my numbers are going up slowly enough that dealing with this is not urgent.

Easy for him to say. But I am not freaking out about this.

So, that is the report.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Back on Track

Barbara has told me that I should do a blog update even though there is not much to report. She says that my loyal readers might not realize that "no news is good news".

Anyway, the good news is that I am back on my "normal" chemo schedule - which means I am on a 21 day cycle. I go into Dana Farber on Days 1 and 8 (Wednesdays) and then I have a week off. All I do when I am in there is get poked and prodded and they give me a shot of Velcade. Seems like a lot of effort to spend 5 seconds getting a shot. They also draw some blood. I looked up "Bloodletting" on the internet and this seems pretty close to what they do to me. It claimed that this went out with the the Middle Ages. Apparently not.

Anyway, it seems that I am back on a regular schedule.

You may recall that I had a small stroke back at the end of October. They took me off of chemo for a while, and put me on blood thinners. No problem until mid-December when I banged my leg and apparently triggered some sort of internal bruise. My leg started to swell up. I talked to two doctors who both told me to continue with the blood thinners. My leg continued to swell. I went for my previously scheduled chemo appointment. The oncologist looked at my purple leg and said, "You/re not still taking blood thinners are you? So, I stopped taking the blood thinners for a few weeks and they suspended chemo. It took several weeks for the leg to get back close to normal.

So now I am back on a regular schedule. The difference from before the stroke is a daily shot of a blood thinner and a couple of additional pills. The pills are small enough that I hardly notice. Also, I am no longer taking Revlimid - which was one of the primary chemo drugs. It remains to be seen how well this regimen will work. My numbers went up when they took me off of chemo. This was expected, but I was hoping that they would come back down faster than they have been. We'll see what happens over the next few cycles.

Meanwhile, and unrelated to my disease, the device we use for video streaming had been giving us trouble. I ordered one of those Amazon Fire TV Sticks. We have been using it to watch a series where one of the main characters is named Alexis - which is very close to the activation word on our Amazon Echo. So, now we have the characters on the TV calling out and we have our Amazon Echo responding. It is like we have our computerized machines talking to each other. I am not sure what they need us for.