Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Health update #02 3rd March 09

Today was my bi-monthly hospital consultation with my Haematologist and monthly infusion of aredia.
It is now 7 months since stem cell transplant #02. All my test results came in normal again similar to the previous update. I am a very happy chappie, humble that I have a second chance.
At the beginning of February I finished my controlled morphine reduction programme by stopping the M-elson (slow release morphine) altogether. That gave me my usual morphine withdrawal symptoms of restless legs at night for 7 nights though no mood issues this time. One of the side effects of morphine for me was drowsiness. Sleep is not as good now, our summer humidity not helping there. What I need to do is get into a regular sleep routine by going to sleep at the same time every evening, easier said than done. Distractions of blog, sport on TV, internet are a weakness for me.
My right arm is progressing well benefiting from regular exercise.
Peripheral neuropathy in my feet has not reduced. A scalp massager from the $2 shop has been added to my foot and leg massage tools and is now my number one massage aid.
I had a good talk to my Haematologist today.
He agreed that the morphine had masked the effects of peripheral neuropathy. That explains why it was increasing as the morphine dosage reduced.
Myra wanted to know how many others have had a second stem cell transplant. He said it was uncommon in NZ, about two a year at Auckland hospital. Mine was the only one in 2008. The contributing factors are stem cell availability, health, age, previous response and how active the multiple myeloma is.
Stem cell transplant #03 was raised by me. It is not feasible to harvest any more of my stem cells as the bone marrow has been damaged by the chemotherapy agent melphalan used during transplant.
Next consultation and health update will be 26th May.

No comments: