I was going to wait until the end of next week to update as I will be having my important cancer staging tests on Tuesday (Sept 10). But I wanted to report a bit of progress from my labs today.
Out of the blue I had a severe anemia come on about three weeks ago, making me feel horrible and requiring an urgent transfusion. The effects of a transfusion are for about two weeks. My red blood cells (hemoglobin and hematocrit) have improved since last week, meaning my own bone marrow is back to making red blood cells again. I’m no where near normal but better than I have been in three weeks. So, we think the culprit was an anti-viral medication I had to take for four weeks, which is notorious for causing anemia.
My renal labs are much better this week too. They had worsened for several weeks (making me worried about having to go back on dialysis) but then was stable last week and now has improved dramatically this week. My BUN and Creatinine (both waste products from protein processing) are still about double the normals, but not triple or quadruple the normals as they were a couple of weeks ago. This is encouraging and we believe it too was from a medication that I had to take, which is hard on the kidneys.
I consider myself very lucky and thankful for my kidneys recovering. I was told many times by people at the dialysis center that they would not recover and I would be doing dialysis for life (they thought my hope was me being in denial). After having a lot of bad luck this year (just .04% of people get myleoma in their lifetime and of those .04%, only 25% have kidney involvement), I am very fortunate to be one of the 10-20% with myleoma and renal failure, and then their kidneys recover enough to get off dialysis.
My biggest hang up, compared to where things could be is not much, is tachycardia (fast heart rate). It started when I was very anemic but has not improved that much, although my anemia has. We don’t know why, but it does not appear to be anything serious. It does make it very hard to exercise.
They declare someone a “Bone Marrow Transplant Survivor” at day 100 post transplant, because most of the serious out comes and deaths occur during the first 100 days. I’m at day 80, with just 20 more days to go to reach that milestone.
I will still update again by the end of next week when I know what my cancer is up to. Thank you for your prayers and concern. Mike