jm's Adventure with Multiple Myeloma: 2nd ASCT - Day 90 - August 16 2012

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

2nd ASCT - Day 90 - August 16 2012

Up at O'DARK THIRTY (4:15 am) getting ready for my trip to my chemo and doctor's appointment at St. Luke's MSTI in Twin Falls, Idaho...135 miles each way from Mackay, Idaho.

I have to make lists to remember everything that I need to accomplish before I leave...I attribute this to "chemo brain". The lists work for me in the most part, but not nearly as well as Jani reminders...  

I left just after 5:15 AM and headed out in the dark. I live in mule deer and moose country and I have to be ultra careful and ALERT not to encounter any on the road. For the last 30 miles or so, I drain 2 bottles of water so I wouldn't be dehydrated for the blood draw.

Made it to my appointment for my blood draw at 8 AM on time. Lab technician Anita got my blood on the first poke with a small butterfly needle and I was thankful for that. Technician Matt did my vital signs and weight - I've gained 3 pounds since Tuesday - Dex! My vital signs are terrific with pulse of 68 and 99 % oxygen level. My blood pressure low at 105/68.

I waited for Dr. Padavanija in the exam room for a long time, but RN Heather explained to me that they were WAITING to hear from Curascript about my Vorinostat approval and RN Sandy was on the phone with Curascript.   I made MORE LISTS for things that I need to accomplish in my life  NOT related to multiple myeloma while I waited.
While I waited Curascript called me and EUREKA, I was approved by my Anthem Insurance for a 14 day supply of vorinostat (Zolinza brand name). I will need to take 400 mg daily for 14 days requiring 56  - 100 mg capsules.
The cost of the drug is $4,664.17 and will be totally covered by my Anthem Insurance with NO COPAY. They cannot deliver the the medication to my home in Mackay, Idaho until Thursday, 23 August 2012. So, Dr. Padavanija and I decided that it would be best if I waited to start the Zolinza with the beginning of my 2nd Cycle of Velcade/Dex on 4 September 2012. 

As usual, Dr. Padavanija  spent a lot of time with me and listens to my concerns. My main concern is trying to schedule my appointments within the 10-11 AM time frame which will make the 5 hour roundtrip mostly in the daylight. 

My CBC was good today. WBC 5.1 ( norms 4.5-11); Hg 12.9 (norms 12-15); and Platelets 290 (norms 140-440). So, the Velcade/Dex has not caused my lab values to trend downward which is excellent.
After the appointment, RN Heather took me back to the Infusion Area for my subcutaneous Velcade injection. RN Brittany greeted me and let me know that the Pharmacist was assisting another patient, but I'd be next. I really liked the communication. It is cold in the Infusion Area and even though I have SOME hair now, I use the hoodie on my sweat shirt to stay comfortable.
The Velcade was ready quickly and, I was on my way to TACO BELL! Today is Day 90 and I can finally eat out CAREFULLY. I got a chicken burrito supreme and enjoyed every bite of it!

On the way back to Mackay, the air quality worsened and I couldn't even see the mountains in our Big Lost River Valley from Darlington (18 miles south of Mackay). And the mountains are over 11,000 feet high! We now have 2 forest fires blazing about 66 miles north of Mackay and our AIR QUALITY is NOT GOOD. I'm wearing the N-95 mask all the time when I'm outside and I'm mostly staying inside. 
Paco and Jeff watched Kemmer while I was gone and Jeff brought her home in the MackayTownCar.

Around 5:30 PM, the air quality looked a tad better, so I walked Kemmer to the Big Lost River Smelter Bridge and Hill of Dreams (1.38 miles roundtrip).

Big Lost River Smelter Bridge with Louis Rukavina Access.

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