Sorry that I've been neglecting to update this blog. All is GROOVY. Dom's healthy.... got the OK on Tuesday's doctor visit that we can start going to matinees, walk around the mall and he can hang out without his mask on.... just being careful. His appetite is back, as are most of his tastebuds. No hair yet....
Still no overnighters without him. She's afraid that he might pass out or start bleeding from all of the Coumadin. So, Chris came over to spend the night with him on Thursday. I headed to Poplarville, loved on my kitties, then Wendy came over to spend the night. Had a fun little pajama party, drank martinis and caught up with each other. Very pleasant!
Today, Dom is taking the car over to Dennis' house to check out the status of his '46 Ford "gasser". That's been Dennis' main focus for months.... boy stuff..... I'll be hanging out at the pool.
Had a pretty neat Saturday last week. Lovely Linda came over to play in the pool for awhile. We decided to go see a 3:30 movie. As we had time to kill, we went into a nearby Daiquiri joint. while sipping on a drink, some broad came barreling into the parking lot, slamming into a vehicle. The broad had been eating downs, and could barely walk. Then the fun began.... the entire bar walked outside, drinks and beers in hand and watched the poor broad try to pass sobriety tests.
Several cops pulled in.... they'd found a prescription bottle of SOMA (???) in the car...that wasn't hers.
Wouldn't you know it..... one of the cops had us blocked in. Didn't want to ask him to move with booze breath, so skipped the movie and enjoyed "the show". Meanwhile another cop came in an unmarked car with a kid in the back.... he was as high as she was.... not connected, though. A paddy wagon pulled up and they were poured into the back. Unreal. You don't see shit like this in stupid Poplarville!!!!
So, all is well in Metairie. Dom and I are planning on a movie on Monday.... Maybe the latest "Final Destination" We don't have a doctor appointment until Thursday. Glorious!
Monday: Went in for bloodwork. Changed his scrip to 2.0 MG of coumadin. We were in and out of there in no time at all.
Tuesday: Hung out at home all day.
Wednesday: Chris joined us for a day in stupid Poplarville. It was wonderful to see my 4 kitties, fat and happy! The guys did a little shooting. Not much to report. Stopped at Double D Meats on the way home for sausage, snacks, etc.
Thursday (Today): Just returned from our appointment with Dr. Safah. She said that his bloodwork is "GREAT". He's doing "VERY WELL". She cut us down to only 1 visit per week starting next Tuesday!
She normally checks for a relapse at the 100-Day mark. She might do it earlier, as he's doing so well. She's also putting him back on Thalidomide for awhile.
Our visit ended on a bit of an emotional note.... We adore just about everybody at Tulane except for Dr. Safah's nurse, Olivia. She literally gave me a wave of dismissal last Wed, did not return a phone call on last Friday, and then did not return Monday's phone call regarding a different matter.
When she walked into the room, I had just told Dr. Safah that I had a problem with Olivia. When Olivia walked in, I said, "We're going to talk about YOU".I went on to give dates and instances.
I went on to say that this has been a very frightening experience, and it's very frustrating to not get calls returned, much less be given a wave of dismissal.
Olivia made excuses. I countered each one. Dr. Safah remained silent for a moment.
Then, Olivia said, "I didn't have the information that you needed, so there was no need to return your call.... it wouldn't have helped you, anyway". Smoke began pouring out of my nose and my ears. I said, "BULLSHIT!". Then Safah apologized, promised to keep the lines of communication open, blah, blah, blah. It was really good to get it off of my chest. Honestly gang, everyone knows us there.... everyone smiles...... we've become rather close...... except for Olivia. I hope she got ripped a new asshole when we left.
Dom still has no real appetite, occasional waves of nausea and no tastebuds. Doc suggested baked food. No more fried stuff. (Which is a bummer, as our patient has been enjoying grilled cheese sandwiches and fried egg sandwiches in recent weeks). Doubling him up on his Prilosec.
SO............. other than making a real enemy............ all is go according to plan. Again- if Doc is pleased, then we're pleased. Life is good, gang!
Our patient is doing quite well. He's feeling stronger every day. His appetite is back, and his taste buds are very slowly coming back.
We had a long and busy week. Went to Tulane on Mon, Tues, and Wed.
Thursday, Dom decided that he wanted to come with me to Poplarville. What a LONG day.....80 mile drive to check on the kitties, then another 50 miles to Slidell to visit his maw. I had her sit in the car with him to visit..... mask on. Then, another 25 miles to Mandeville, and across the Causeway to the apartment. (another 25 miles). I was absolutely exhausted.
Headed back to Tulane on Friday. They called that afternoon to tell Dom to lay off the blood thinners and eat alot of broccoli this weekend. Luckily, Rouses was selling it for only a buck a bunch.
Had hoped to spend the day at the pool today, but alas, the skies are black. *pouting*
Back to Tulane on Monday. Thank gawd we've got this apartment only 8 miles away!
DEAR DR. DONOHUE: A close relative is in the early stages of multiple myeloma. He has no symptoms and is still quite active. He plays golf and takes long walks. He is 79. He is not under treatment. Please explain what this disease is. Can it be cured? Is research being done on it? - I.J.
ANSWER: Multiple myeloma is a cancer that begins with a single renegade cell in the bone marrow. That cell begins to multiply at extremely fast rates and has a prolonged longevity. The progeny of that single cell crowd out other cells in the bone marrow, and that leads to all the complications of this disease.
Anemia is common, because myeloma cells disrupt red blood cell production. The same happens to white blood cells. Infections are a common consequence because of the drop in white blood cells and because there's a diminished production of antibodies. Myeloma can affect the kidneys.
The cause of this cancer, as is true of so many other cancers, has eluded detection.
Symptoms of myeloma include bone pain, especially back or rib pain. Bones are weakened by the rampant growth of myeloma cells, and they break easily. Another consequence of bone involvement is a rise in blood calcium, and the high levels of calcium can create their own problems.
Anemia symptoms are part of the myeloma picture. Fatigue and breathlessness are two examples.
The cure for myeloma has not yet been discovered, but there are treatments that slow its course, make patients more comfortable and can prolong life. Chemotherapy drugs are the usual treatment.
Your relative has not reached the point that calls for treatment. It's usually begun when people develop symptoms or when there is a rise in a blood protein that is generated by myeloma cells. Research on myeloma is being conducted throughout the world. http://www.sunjournal.com/node/74401
Sitting with my laptop, taking a break from cleaning/disinfecting and sanitizing. It's a rainy day. Dom's out of bed, got sick of television, and is now reading a "dirty rotten biker" book.
He was released from the hospital (to our Metairie apartment) on Tuesday afternoon. John took the pic line out of his arm. He's still on 2 different blood thinners for the blood clot that had developed, as well as a bunch of antibiotics.
Dom is wiped out. It's a physical effort to walk from our living room to our bedroom. He gets winded. He has no appetite. I've been "forcing him" to choke down cold sandwiches. Today, at almost 2 pm, all he's had is a half of a peanut butter/jelly sandwich. Again, Tulane expected this, and said that he's doing well.
As he has to have a "sitter", his buddy Chris came over for the night on Wed., so I could go overnight to Poplarville for the mail and feeding of cats. I was delighted to see that I still have 4 sassy kitties! Tough country cats.
Chris waited til I returned home on Thursday morning before he left. Said that nothing was going to happen to him on "his watch". (Had called when I was about an hour away and told him that he could split).
We had a 10:30 am appointment for bloodwork. Unfortunately, Dom had forgotten to take coumadin for a couple of days, so they sent us home until Monday. Then an appointment with Dr. Safah on Tuesday. I'll be curious to see his newest numbers. I got such a kick out of watching them come up.
Yesterday, Friday, I spent a couple of hours at the pool with my new buddy, running back to the apartment every half hour to check on Dom. He's fine, other than exhausted.
Got nothing planned for the rest of the weekend. Hope his appetite returns for Tuesday.... he'll be a "birthday boy". (his OLD birthday..... now he's got 2 of 'em!)
Sorry for the 1 week lapse in posting....been really busy. Let me catch you up:
Friday: Went a.m. to visit Dom. His bloodcounts were going through the roof! They were very happy.
Best childhood friend, Amy, flew into town around 1pm. We went to Oscar's for an Oscarlotta and a couple of beers, then came home and hung out at the pool until dark.
Saturday: I let Amy moan and groan in bed (hungover), while I, being the good wife, drove in for a visit. All of infections had almost cleared up. Doctors were pleased.
Best Southern friend, Lovely Linda, came over around noon.... brought the rain with her. The 3 of us took a cab to Taco San Miguel. Enjoyed multiple margaritas on the rocks that one could actually taste tequila! EXCELLENT FOOD. I need to write a review on NOLAEATS.com before I forget!
Came back (Nan now has a "personal driver"!!!!) and the 3 of us hung out at the pool for much of the afternoon.
Sunday: Another visit to Dom in the morning.....gawd, I'm good! Then, Amy and I took a cab to the Swamp Room for a highly over-hyped cheeseburger. Never again. Stupid sandwich. Kind of a stupid crowd, too. *grinning*
Chris drove over to meet us, then the 3 of us came back here for big fun.... multiple martinis...... broken furniture......Chris spent the night. It's a good thing that he was here to babysit us. *grinning and rolling my eyes* (DOM said, "great....it's like having THREE Newbury Girls instead of two of you!)
Monday: A Dom visit. More rain. Linda picked us up and we went to Oscars, and then the little Tapas joint next door. We three old broads were drooling over the 20-something new bartender..... a little tenderoni.
Tuesday: Had Amy at the airport for around 8am, then headed to the hospital to bring him home.
Celebrating 29 years of marriage in December '17. After over 7 years of remission, Dom's Multiple Myeloma (Cancer of the blood plasma cells- attributed to Agent Orange Exposure while Dom served in Vietnam) has returned. Much of this blog concentrates on our adventure leading up to a Stem Cell Transplant, his remission, and our new adventure.