Back to the Future

I enjoyed two full months of recovery from the latest attempt to control my cancer, multiple myeloma. At first, that drug worked well. The harsh side effects, however, made me question whether it was worthwhile. Soon, its effectiveness waned. The setback left me wondering about my future. So, I took a break to reassess things. … More Back to the Future

The Indian Clerk

The cancer continues to sleep. My oncologist, Dr. M., ordered blood labs of CBC, CMP, SFLCA, and SPEP. Nothing stood out, just a bunch of numbers. The myeloma is stable 17 months post transplant. I am not on any maintenance therapy. I take a multi-vitamin, 1000 mg of calcium, and a low dose aspirin each … More The Indian Clerk

Riding the Melphalan Wave

During the interval between this post and the last, my garden unleashed a bounty of colorful blooms. Iris and rhododendron, in particular, show off extravagant blossoms in lavender, pink, and white. Beneath these preening plants, more humble flowers open their smiling faces to the sun and spring rains. Nasturtium, cosmos, petunia, dianthus, marigold, geums, and … More Riding the Melphalan Wave


We just returned from an evening trip to the infusion lab where John received 2 units of blood. His hematocrit had dropped to 26%, par for the course after melphalan, which automatically calls for a transfusion. He is finally cashing in on the many gallons he has regularly donated at Hood River blood drives. The … More Transfusion

Balancing Act

As advertised, John is feeling “punier” by the day as the melphalan goes to work. Through yesterday he was able to eat sufficiently and drink the required 100 oz. of fluid per day, but by today he just can’t manage. So he will get a liter of fluid by IV today (at home), and probably … More Balancing Act

Day Zero

Day two of the transplant procedure was much better than day one. We were at the clinic for seven hours. I handled the amifostine and melphalan with no difficulty. The most annoying part was having to suck ice chips for one hour prior to and during infusion of the melphalan and then for an additional … More Day Zero

Knocking On Wood

I consented to the clinical trial. The decision gave me buyer’s remorse. The worry was whether the increased chemo would burn a hole in my gut. As it is, I won’t receive the mega dose; I was randomized to the standard high dose. The study hopes to define a new maximum tolerated dosage of chemo. … More Knocking On Wood