Friday, July 30, 2010

Rev-lite trial: end of cycle 3.

Tuesday 20th July 2010 I completed my Rev-lite clinical trial cycle (28 days) for myeloma.
Test results:
The test results available indicate that I continue to respond well to the new treatment. Results from other tests that take longer to complete are not yet available. My myeloma results IgG, globulin, total protein etc continue to head downwards. The drop in my bloods (platelets, neutrophils, haemoglobin, red counts etc) at the end of 3 weeks of Lenalidomide puts them at the bottom of the "normal" range as expected. It is noted that Anaemia is present.
During cycle 3 I had suffered Candida which in combination with long term dexamethasone use resulted in my blood/sugar levels sky rocketing giving me diabetes type 2.
Link: Who let the dexo dogs out?
Dexamethasone increases the blood sugars. The final dexo days (17 to 20) coincided with my hospitalisation so the dexo was stopped for those four days. During cycle 4 on dexo days I control my blood/sugar levels by eating less carbohydrates and regular exercise which for me is walking. If this does not work I then will be increasing my twice daily insulin dosage.
Weight loss:
During this month I lost 7kg (15lbs) due to the Candida and diabetes, so far 1kg has gone back on. With my diabetes food recommendations now in place I don’t expect to regain much weight at all.
Pain relief:
My pain relief of Oxycontin slow release capsules has been stopped. Any pain relief will be controlled by paracetamol. There were no side effects during Oxycontin reduction but some side effect experiences after stopping completely. Mainly difficulty in getting to sleep, waves of restlessness in the arms. This reduced over 4 days and is no longer present.
Peripheral neuropathy:
During cycle 3 there has been a very small increase in my peripheral neuropathy in my feet, mainly a numbness of the soles. This does reduce during the 4th week of no Lenalidomide. Keeping my feet warm, using vitamins and Alpha-lipoic -acid helps reduce the peripheral neuropathy symptoms.
The diabetes was a big blow to me, I have now accepted it. Extra work now includes a change in eating habits, learning the nutritional values of food, no sugar, keeping a daily food diary, the three times a day finger pricks for blood/sugar monitoring, two times a day insulin injections and gaining diabetes knowledge. There will be a posting soon on the diabetes impact on my myeloma and what I am doing to keep it simple.
Cycle 4 has commenced including the scheduled dexo.

Links: (Links open in a new window).
Rev-lite clinical trial. Commenced 28 April 2010.
Rev-lite clinical trial: end of cycle 1.
Rev-lite clinical trial: cycle 2, day 18.
Rev-lite clinical trial: end of cycle 2.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who let the dexo dogs out?

Who let the dexo dogs out; they mauled me and left me with diabetes.
My long term use of dexamethasone was a big contributor to my diabetes; it is a dexamethasone side effect.
We had been monitoring my glucose levels; there was a gradual increase but not too alarming. I do have a family history of diabetes.
Over the last 3 weeks I was experiencing increasing fatigue and tiredness. As I am on a clinical trial I kept the hospital informed. My mouth developed what looked like thrush, white patches on the tongue and mouth so off the GP who diagnosed oral Candida. This was treated with lozogenes. I was to return in 2 days.
Candida appears on the lining of your mouth and tongue. A compromised immune system increases the risk. An underlying condition such as diabetes may be a cause.
My condition quickly progressed to increased fatigue, dizziness, light headedness, brain fog, excessive thirst and increased urinary frequency (dibetes symptoms). Next morning I could barely function, off to the hospital where tests showed I was badly dehydrated and had a very high glucose reading. Diagnose was diabetes type 2 resulting in 5 days in hospital to control it. During the 3 weeks I lost 9 kg (20 lbs), need to put back on half of that.
When I was discharged I came home with a bad attitude, I wanted to leave my diabetes at the hospital. I did not want the 3 times daily blood glucose monitoring, the twice daily insulin injections, the constant thinking about what I can or can’t eat and all the new knowledge I need to live with diabetes. It was an unwanted intrusion into my life with myeloma.
I am living with myeloma, learnt a lot about it and was coping well. The Rev-lite trial has lowered my IgG levels, bone pain has gone, Lenalidomide and dexamethasone is working. One more cycle would get me to the next stage, less dexamethasone.
There is no escape, my attitude had to change and slowly it has. I have put all my diabetes information, monitoring meter, insulin pen, and needles into a cardboard box, a one stop shop. That’s the same in my head space; the diabetes is in a box not interfering with my myeloma.

Links (open in new page):
Oral Candina
Clinical trial

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lytic lesion right femur update 3

Update right leg:
Update 3 on lytic lesion right femur from myeloma.
This week Tuesday 27th July 2010 I had an appointment with orthopedics to discuss bone progress at the lytic lesion on my right femur and to x-ray the leg
The rod and pins are all stable.
My treatment for myeloma (Rev-lite trial) is at cycle 3, end of week 1. I also have monthly infusion of Aredia.
X-ray showed the myeloma lytic lesion has not increased; it seems to have decreased and there is evidence of bone healing. I did not expect the lesion to reduce the day treatment started, the evidence is it is now working, starting to look like a real bone again. Because of good progress we will not have any radiation at this time. Radiation would have interfered with the trial protocol and the trial may have had to stop.
There is no pain in the right leg, I have more movement and strength is returning.

Left leg:
My left leg has minor myeloma deposits in the femur identified on previous x-ray. We are hoping the Rev-lite trial of Lenalidomide and dexamethasone will treat that.
Last Sunday I started to feel pain in my left femur about an hour after a long walk. This pain was similar to the lesion pain I originally felt in my right femur. Next day I had the right leg x-rayed and compared with the x-ray of 2 months ago. There was no change between x-rays, no fine cracks or fractures visible. It was difficult to determine the cause of pain so decision was to increase pain relief, stay off the leg for 2 to 3 days and monitor. So far the pain is reducing; today the leg is feeling better. The cause may be muscular or nerves.

Links: [Link opens in a new page]
Saturday 3rd April 2010: Lytic lesion right femur
Thursday 8th April 2010: Lytic lesion right femur update
Sunday 22nd May 2010: Lytic lesion right femur update 2
Tuesday 22nd June 2010: Rev-lite trial end of cycle 2