Monday, August 16, 2010

The nose knows

My counts remain stable. Although still low, my white count has been stable enough these past 2 weeks (2.7 today) that I've avoided the neupogyn shots. Red counts and platelets are also stable. My very low dose revlimid maintenance regime (.5 mg every other day) seems to be working and allowing my counts to recover. They'll check the myeloma levels next week (results in 2 weeks). Health insurance has approved my donor lymphocyte infusion at MD Anderson so Mike and I will be returning to Houston soon for a week or so of workup and yet another infusion of Mike's cells.

Having lost my hearing and my sense of taste, I've now begun to suspect my sense of smell is also impaired. It has taken some time for me to realize this but, I haven't been able to smell the wonderful meals Susan is constantly preparing. And yes, Rifkin confirmed today that all the chemicals I've received can obliterate one's sense of smell. He asssures me, it "usually" returns. He's said the same thing about my neuropathies and rather than improving they are getting worse. We are experimenting with more neurontin but have not yet found the right dosage to relieve the pain. Fortunately I can ride my bike because I find I don't like to walk as my feet start throbbing and tingling after 10 minutes. As for the loss of smell and taste, I find that I am driven to tastes on the edges, like spicey and sweet. Now I know why I told Susan the other day that I was tired of chicken--too bland. So tonight we had hamburgers with jalapenas in them. Yes! Of course this diet complicates my digestive issues.

While I make fun of the loss of smell, it is a serious issue. It presents life challenges, such as not being aware of dangers such as gas leaks, fire, or spoiled food. Having now researched the risks I just realized that I've had this problem for awhile and it seems to be getting worse. Over the past 2 years I eaten some bad meat, which made me quite sick. Julia and Susan chewed me out after each incident for being so stupid. In fact, they have been quite diligent in throwing out any cold cuts that might be old before I can get my hands of them. My awareness is now heightened but I do hope this follows the "usual" course as Rifkin suggested and goes away soon. Not being able to fully appreciate Susan's cooking would be quite a loss.

That being said, I continue to feel and believe that we have turned a corner here. These issues are minor given the minefields we've been through. I can live with this stuff.

To life,


Mike said...

I haven't been able to smell much for years. And I love spicy food. We're getting more alike every day. Isn't that special?
Glad things are fairly stable.
See you in Houston.

sigun said...

Dear Dan,

It seems that you and Mike are becoming like two peas in a pod... You had good news today. Bravo. And hopefully your smell will return; I can understand your wanting to smell what comes from the kitchen!! Bises, Sigun.

dan patterson said...

Ah, once again Mike's cells have caused a change in me--loss of smell. And Mike, why did you withhold this info about your sense of smell when we were considering who to select as the donor?