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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hat Update

In my first hat blog, I think I gave short shrift to my Russian Ushanka hat.  Now that we are getting our first real snow storm of the winter, I think it is appropriate to display this splendid head covering in its true element.

By the time this kind of weather comes around again, I should have my hair back.  However, if I manage to get over the Patriots' Super Bowl loss, perhaps I can wear this at one of the frigid games at Foxboro Stadium next December or (hopefully) January.

I seem to have opened Pandora's Box with my hat blog.  One of my old long-time friends, Gloria, who is married to one of my college roommates, Bernie, just sent me a hand-knitted hat.  Here is a picture of me sporting my newest addition.  Bernie also included another hat which, to be kind, would best be saved for Halloween.  Thanks Bern and Glor!

I now have enough hats that even if I wear a different one every day, my hair probably will have grown back before I get through them all.  I think I'm all set with this hat business.

Well the time is now at hand.  Tomorrow, I go in to start my stem cell mobilization treatment, which is done on an outpatient basis.  I will get an IV infusion of the chemotherapy drug, Cytoxan (cyclophosphomide).  This chemo has the dual purpose of killing residual myeloma cells as well as stimulating stem cell growth.  On Saturday I begin a 10-day cycle of the oral antibiotic, Levaquin.  Then on Sunday, I begin nine daily injections of Neupogen, which is a (very expensive!) granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF).  The Neupogen will cause my bone marrow to over-produce stem cells to help force them into the blood stream so they can be collected.  Gretchen or I will be giving these injections into my stomach at home (belly shots?).  I hope we learn how to do these injections tomorrow.  I have to admit I'm a little nervous about all of this.

I've been told that I probably won't feel too perky next week after the Cytoxan.  I'm thinking of getting my hair cut short in preparation for shaving it off in the next couple of weeks.  So the fun begins!

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