This week as they say … was a DOOZY! I haven’t felt this tired or weak the entire time of my diagnosis. I started my week with meetings in Cherry Hill, NJ in which I felt very compromised and not being very effective at all. My voice was weak and my energy was low. Went into the city for radiation day 5, came home and crashed. Tuesday became more of the same. It was then I discovered via the online chart that my RBCs (red blood cells) and my Hemoglobin were extremely low. Lower than they have ever been in my case. WAAAAAY out of line with my trend. Unfortunately for me they weren’t low enough for the hospital standard to give me a shot of Procrit (which stimulates RBC production) or a transfusion of Reds.
This put me in a precarious position. I was obviously weak. I could barely function. I felt nauseous. I was tired. And by that I don’t mean tired. I mean TIRED! I couldn’t even speak without effort. I lost 12 pounds – actually probably needed that.
So I begged. I begged. And I begged some more. I got my Procrit and my counts are up a bit. Hopefully they continue to rise and each day I feel better. This is the first day that I have been able to write anything anywhere. No Myeloma blogging. No football blogging. Nothing. The concentration this week was my health. And on that front things are pointing up.
I continue to feel better Myeloma-wise. I don’t have a great read on it with all of these other happenings in the mix. BUT – no pain in the hip and no pain in the back are pretty good indicators. Some negative prognosticators are that my Albumin levels have dropped below 4.0 which I think better nutrition can improve. Remember, I haven’t had much appetite so if I start eating more and eating better and healthier proteins that number should stabilize above 4.0 again.
All in all, just glad to have a little bit more energy back. I now have a set rule with Mt. Sinai that when my RBCs or Hemoglobin drop to a certain level I will get a boost of Procrit. My levels are higher than the hospital “standard” and they are personalized for me. Just the same way Myeloma is personal for me.
I want to thank EVERYONE who has taken the time to check in this week with calls, texts, visits, emails and gifts. I know it is difficult to stop your lives and think about me but the support I meaningful and appreciated. There is a certain amount of fatigue with this Cancer. I go from the novelty of my diagnosis of the guy who has Cancer to the ongoing, seemingly never ending definition of the guy who has Cancer. It’s tiring. For all of us I know. We all have shit to deal with so every time someone takes even a second out of their life to send a wish or a prayer my way is meaningful.
Special thanks to my sister in law Carolyn and my friend Jeremy for enduring my crabbiness and New York City traffic to drive me to treatment and back. I realize that this is not something I should be doing on my own. I have many offers for next week so I will be reaching out to you all and setting that schedule up this weekend.
Another shout out to my cousins the Kessels who are celebrating the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Sydney in Chicago this weekend. We were supposed to be there until radiation derailed us. Cancer can wipe that trip out but it can never wipe out the love we have for you. I miss you all very much and I was so looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating. I will be thinking about you all weekend.
Lastly, now that I have some excess energy in me, I want to pay it forward to two families we are close with here in Westfield. Without mentioning names, and you know who you are, you have had to endure your own shit this past week. You have reached deep and used strength you might not even known you had inside you – but it is there. We all have it. And when needed, it comes out. I send every ounce of excess strength above my RBC and Hemoglobin count to you guys as you navigate your way through what you are facing. My love and thoughts are with you.
As I said in my answer to every text and email this week. BETTER DAYS AHEAD!