Friday, October 30, 2009

Cycle Two.

Hey everyone. We've re-joined the rest of the world albeit in limited capacity and wanted to give you all an update on that whole pesky myeloma situation. That's why we're all here after all, right?

First thing's first... constipation is no longer an issue. Can we just talk for a moment about how awful that whole hospital fiasco was? It was awful. Okay. Now let's never revisit it again.

We are in the infusion center as I type. Cycle two began on Tuesday. For those of you who are wondering how this whole cycle thing works, here's the breakdown.

Phil goes in to the infusion center at the hospital where, by the way, we are not allowed to shoot video and gets chemo drugs via an IV. He will be doing four 3-week cycles, during which he goes for infusions on Tuedays and Fridays on weeks one and two, then has the third week off. Each week starts on a Tuesday and ends on the following Monday. On Tuesdays and Fridays he gets Velcade. On the first Friday of the cycle he gets Doxil. This current cycle is cycle two. I don't expect you to remember all of that, and there will be no test. Just wanted to let you all know what exactly we're doing here.

Now for the super awesome news. We got the cycle one results back and Phil's numbers look fantastic.

M-Protein is now 1.9 (previous was 3.2)
Kappa Free lite --> 43.5 (was 83.6)
Kappa/Lambda Ratio --> 114.47 ( was 491.7)
IgG --> 2430 ( was 3260)

There are lots of places you can go to find out what these things mean, but the important thing is that these numbers are all coming down significantly. And after just one (incomplete) cycle! This is really, really good.

We are doing generally well. It's been a tough comeback from a couple weeks ago but we've recently removed a couple of chronically stressful situations from our lives and that has lightened the load quite a bit. Plus we have friends and family members who just kind of show up and help (Thank you! We love you!) and that allows us to focus on the important things, like whether or not Phil has remembered to take his laxatives. Not even kidding.

Also, as another high point to be mentioned, we heard the baby's heartbeat this afternoon at my midwife visit. I had a moment of panic like oh dear there's really a baby in there which means we're going to have three- THREE but then I realized that it's really pretty awesome and I was also relieved that there was just one. So now I'm cool.

I think that's everything for now, folks. I'll try to update more often now that I'm out of my padded room.


Phil said...

I really hope to get back to sharing this journey as we live it so people can get a real glimpse on what this may look like for them, a loved one, or just pure entertainment!

The reality is we didn't fully dominate Cycle #1 (we only made it through 9 of the 14 days). Which means the Myeloma got lucky with one less Velcade infusion and 5 days of Revlimid. The goal is M-spike of zero and this cycle we are coming at you! 40% percent reduction in my M-spike and 33% in my IgG after a less than perfect cycle out.

Okay the orange doxil is only half way done and I am tired. Did I tell you I have been going to bed at 8pm every night?

Kindred Spirit said...

My prayers are with you. I'm so happy to hear about the baby' heartbeat--what joy!

Stephen McKenna said...

Suck on that Cancer!

Start thinking like a naked mole rat Phil. News is that they are the only mammal that's immune to cancer.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! If the journey was easy, it wouldn't be myeloma. Good news on the descending numbers; keep it going.

BTW, my wife is a Michigan grad. She bleeds Blue.

Cassie said...

Phil. I would venture to guess all that business about sharing the journey is the Dex talking. But I'm for it.

Stephen, I love naked mole rats. Rumor has it there was once this naked mole rat who liked to wear clothes. But that is seriously a very interesting tidbit of info. Off to Google it.

Cassie said...

John, thank you! We love your blog by the way. Your wife? We adore her already. =)

Alysa said...

Thanks for the update, we keep checking! So happy to see the numbers are coming down. Keep dominating! Love & prayers from AZ :)

Becky said...

I'm no mathematical genius or nothin' but those numbers look great. Here's hoping cycle 2 goes well.

Alexis said...

So dad forwarded me the email that Aunt Mary Sue sent, and I figured it would be worth taking a look at the link to your blog...and I love it! (If you haven't figured out who this is yet, it's Lexi, down here in NC.)

Congrats on both the dropping numbers & the baby's heartbeat! I hope you two are doing well, and I hope Ocean & Iris are, too. I can't wait to see you guys again...

Jessica said...

first: wohoo! for falling numbers! answered prayers. and, having three kids is proving to be crazy but awesome around here. I hope you find it similarly awesome.

Jennifer said...

Happy to here you are past your "retention" problem. My sister dealt with her own retention problem during her first 2 weeks of her "chemo cocktail" but hers was water. It started out just in her ankles but within a couple of days she couldn't even lay down because it was up to her lungs and she had a difficult time breathing.
They did switch up her meds and it made a huge difference for her.
Enjoy your week off!

Amy said...

Thanks for the update--have been wondering how y'all are doing! Will keep praying.

Cassie--exciting about the baby! :) It is so nice to have a tiny baby to hold again. And don't worry--the transition wasn't so tough. I mean, you already know that your life is not your own anymore, so it isn't as much of a shock!

EJ & Roo said...

great to have you guys back. good luck with the start of cycle two. they seem to think we'll be discharged from the sct program next tuesday!!

Carol said...

I am so glad to see you posting again, I was getting worried. Thanks for sharing, it helps. I'm starting my first chemo cycle this Monday.I'm not quite sure what to expect but am praying it goes ok.I'll be prating for you and yours, Carol

Janet Smith said...

I went to Jr. High with Cassie (Janet Whitsitt then). God that sounds like a long time ago. Anyways, Cassies mom sent the blog to my mom who sent it on to me. I am keeping you guys in my prayers and sending healing thoughts your way. God Bless.

Jilly said...

So glad the numbers are coming down! And the heart beat....soo friggin sweet!

Roobeedoo said...

Great numbers! Hoping to hear something similar on Monday - no not about a baby, that would just be TOO much!