Thursday, September 18, 2008

Today's Diagnosis: MULTIPLE MYELOMA

Well, gang- We got the news that we didn't want to hear today. Dom's got Multiple Myeloma. Last week's bone marrow biopsy and blood work showed that 60% of his bone marrow has been invaded by "Immature Aggressive Plasma Cells".

He's also a little Anemic.

Kidneys are OK.

After looking at the important two "MARKERS" from her blood work, she said that one was "good" and one was "excellent". (Don't ask me what the hell markers are). She said that he'll "DO WELL" with treatment.

Without any treatment, she gave him 56 months to live.... just under 5 years. *groaning*

Let me backtrack. Once again, Tulane knocked us out. Easy in/out/parking. On time. Smooth as glass. I'm impressed.

Upon going into the examining room, we were surprised when Dr. Safah entered with 3 other individuals. (Dom said that it reminded him of clowns pouring out of a little car at the circus). He asked if they were students..... nope. Herself, a Resident (graduate of Tulane), a Nurse Practitioner, and Doc's nurse, Amy. (who we adore)

Anyway.... here's the scoop......

For the next FOUR MONTHS, Dominic will be orally taking THALIDOMIDE. You might remember that this was the drug that they used to prescribe to pregnant women to fight morning sickness..... causes horrid birth defects.... hands growing out of shoulders, feet out of hips, etc.

This drug was taken off of the market, but has been found to do wonders with this type of cancer. It's highly regulated. Dom has to "interview" with the Feds by phone before they'll give him a prescription.... guaranteeing them that his wife, nor anyone else will become pregnant while he's taking it. (I was informed that I can't even TOUCH one of the pills).

During the first TWO MONTHS of Thalidomide, he will be taking a weekly STEROID. "Decadrone".

Theoretically, the combination of these 2 drugs will kill these renegade plasma cells, putting him into "REMISSION".

We have an appt. with her on Jan. 16th. At that point, she'll do further bloodwork to confirm that this nasty shit has done it's stuff, and then begin growing Dom's own STEM CELLS for a transplant.

So, we're looking at 4 months before we know anything. The only concern about Thalidomide, other than pregnancy, is an increased chance of blood clots. If his legs or arms begin to ache, we'll have to head to the ER..... though, usually blood thinners or even asprin will do the trick.

He can expect to feel pinprick sensations in his toes and fingers. Perhaps pain in his feet.

Doc also ordered an xray of his ribcage, which was a bit tender the other day. (but fine now). Again, this was a breeze. Crossed a pedestrian bridge to the hospital, got a quick series of xrays, and off we went. They've really got their shit together.

So, hopefully, "we" will begin fighting this crap by Monday.

Multiple Myeloma side effects would be: weakness, damage to kindeys, liver, heart, broken bones and susceptibility for infection .

Hopefully we're nipping this shit in the bud!

Think positive thoughts, my friends and loved ones. Thanks for all prayers and good wishes. We love you guys-


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