Cancer update

Have not even put in the blog what the cancer is. Multiple myeloma , the third (rarest) form. Can't remember the technical word for it, I have an appointment tomorrow, and will get the official term (so you can be informed if you want).

Anyway, I will post the history of how I got here later. Here is what is happening now.

I have been deemed a prime candidate for Autologous stem cell transplantation at the City of Hope up in Duarte. It seems simple. They suck out MY stem cells, store them on a shelf somewhere (hopefully not by the diet Coke), zap the cancer cells with a chemo a-bomb, sweep up my hair, give me back the stem cells to regrow my bone marrow, and I am all (mostly) better.

But, alas, it seems that there are "procedures" and strange oath to "do no harm", so I have to get tested, poked, prodded, plumbed, folded, spindled and mutilated (chrome dome). Sigh, my dream of being the first male supermodel is crushed.

The testing starts tomorrow. After I meet my Hematology Oncologist, I get an x-ray of my whole body, my chest (I guess its a different x-ray beam they use), EKG, 24 hours of urine (two buckets, please!), and everyone's favorite -- a bone marrow biopsy.

I had a bone marrow biopsy when I was in the hospital. They give you a local anesthesia in your butt cheek. Then comes the big needle. It looks like a spare coffee stir stick from the cafeteria. It has to be big and strong because when they jam it in you they have to break through your hip bone. Can't deflect right, can't deflect left, straight in -- and through. Local anesthesia doesn't go very deep. Breaking a bone hurts. Sort of. Remember the Starbucks straw sticking out of your butt? They start sucking on it like its some sort of
Frappuccino Blended Coffee. That hurts. There is nothing local they can anesthetize in the hip bone. It is indescribable, unless you have had it done. It's like the Parris Island of cancer patients ("Had one?" "Yea, two actually." "Wow, more power to you...").

Wednesday or Thursday I get to do blood work. 30 vials of blood work. My previous record was 12. I'll ask if I can have a beer afterward for some real fun!

The schedule gets a bit hazy after that, waiting on those protocols to kick in, but I get my own semi-permanent exterior plumbing for injections and extractions, chemo, needles I have to inject into me and not the plumbing, hours (over days) of being hooked up to a harvesting machine, the a-bomb of chemo, then into the hospital for a few weeks to rebuild my bone marrow.

Won't be able to go to Disneyland for at least 100 days. DAMN!

Well, I started at 9:00, its 10:45, my steroids are still kicking in, and the sleeping pills are doing squat. I'll go to bed anyway.

jc





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