Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Pneumonia Comes Early This Year

I have had pneumonia for each of the past 5 years, usually in February. This year it hit me in December and I was ordered to the hospital last Friday. Nothing like checking into the hospital for the weekend. But I broke out, am home and feel much better. A few IV antibiotics seem to do the trick. This stuff shows up in the exact same place in my left lung every year. The CT scan did not show any obstruction or scar tissue so I'm saved from having a scope shoved down my throat. I do know that you can develop a susceptibility to this stuff and it seems I've got that.

I also had a relatively good meeting with my orthopedic surgeon this week. He continues not to want to do anything surgically, which is OK with me. He also showed me on the PET scan and MRI films that the new lesions on the arms and legs aren't really very bad. In fact, you can see the evidence of myeloma in the marrow portion of the bones, but it has not worked its way into any destruction of the bone. So, if the revlimid works, perhaps the bone marrow will heal and no bone will be eroded. I do have one vertebra pushing very close to the spinal cord, but no symptoms of cord involvement. So that's a good thing, too. We ended on a positive note with him exclaiming that for a patient with myeloma I am doing great.

Kidney function is improving. Creatinine is down to 1.4, almost within normal limits. If I drink any more water I'm going to float away!

This pneumonia did have one positive aspect which is it caused my white count to go up. All the way to 6.2. Now that is right in the middle of normal, but for me, as my doctor said, its akin to a normal person being at 25. The good part is that my marrow was able to muster a response to the infection. Something is working in the marrow, which is more than could be said 5 months ago.

I finish up the first cycle of revlimid this week. We'll check the IGGs when I start my second cycle, although no progress doesn't mean it's not working. Sometimes it takes 6 weeks or so to see movement.

That's the status for now. Best wishes to everyone, happy holidays, and I sure wish it would warm up. I am reminded, with this 0 degree weather, why I left North Dakota. Apparently I didn't go far enough south.


Big Frank Dickinson said...

Hey Dan,
Glad you got out of that hospital, and that your lungs are healing. I'm continuing to pump up my stem cells - giving them a good workout to keep them ready for any eventuality - I've shown them some pictures of you to help you all get acquainted, just in case.


Doug Kappel said...

I moved to Texas from N. Dak. and that wasn't far enough south. The older I get the more I do not like the cold. Good to hear from you ol buddy !!! Merry Christmas. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.That is just like you to break out of the hospital. Let me know if you are going to be in Houston for any length of time and I will make a trip. Love you Fuzz !

tim's wife said...

Wow. Lotsa good news here with the exception of the pneumonia. Good to see that your immune system put the gloves on though. Happy holidays from Tim and Denise in Jersey!!! P.S. Yeah we're freezin' here too. Wind is blowing 40 MPH today. :o(

tim's wife said...

Hey Dan,
Just wanted to update you on something. I told you of a caring bridge site of a guy I knew of that
had a mini allo 2 years ago but he had not updated his site in a long time. Saw him today at a support group meeting. He had a slight band still after the transplant
back then. He blogged about that.
They did 2 DLI's and put him on Rev. for awhile and now he has been off
all meds for some time and is in a complete remission. He's doing great.
Just wanted to complete that story line. Happy Holidays!

Unknown said...

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