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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cycle 7 Day 1

Claudia, Paul, and me
Jeffrey came with us on Wednesday to meet with my medical team, and he took this picture.  As I mentioned before, I am no longer getting financial assistance on my Revlimid prescription.  That hit home when I had to shell out a $2,800 co-payment for this month's prescription!  It could have been worse, since the full price for a 21-day supply is about $8,000.  Thank goodness for my Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.  I'm flying through the so-called 'donut hole' in Medicare coverage, and I am almost in the catastrophic category already, after which I will pay only 5% of the drug costs for the rest of the year.  That's a good thing, for I have a feeling I'm going to be getting lots of expensive medications in the months to come.

I think the side effects of these drugs are starting to get to me a little bit.   The dexamethasone is messing up my sleep patterns so it's hard to tell day from night.  I didn't feel great yesterday, so I spent most of the day resting.  I also found out from Richardson on Wednesday that my diarrhea may also be from the Revlimid, technically denoted as "Revy Belly".  It's nice to have a name for it.  I got a prescription for Colestipol to take next week to help keep it from recurring.

Now that my dental issues have been resolved, I finally got my first IV infusion of the bisphosphonate Zometa on Wednesday.   This should help protect my bones against the ravages of MM.  I have been very fortunate so far to have escaped any serious bone involvement.  I think I am supposed to take Zometa on a monthly basis going forward.

I finally made the decision to go ahead with the ASCT, so I signed the consent forms for the transplant clinical trial.  After this current Cycle 7, things get pretty hectic.  I go through some pretesting later this month, and then on March 2, I start the stem cell collection process.  According to the current schedule, I will go into Brigham and Women's Hospital on March 17 (Happy St. Patrick's Day!) for the stem cell infusion. I will probably spend about 18 days in the hospital if all goes well.  There is a possibility that I may delay the transplant another month or so and go back on the MLN9708 for another cycle or two if I am still responding to the treatment, but the most likely scenario is for me to go directly to the ASCT.  I'd better enjoy life for the next month, because I won't enjoy it much for a while after that.  

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