Friday, March 25, 2011

Danny Can You Hear Me?

Finally, I bit the bullet, or is it the wallet?, and got hearing aids. I've been messing with this hearing loss since returning from Houston and hoping that my hearing would eventually return or at least improve. No such luck. As mentioned in an earlier post, although the hearing improved somewhat in the left ear, the right ear has gotten very bad. So I now have hearing aids on both ears. What a difference. If I had any doubts about needing them, this has erased those misgivings. I'm not sure what I was hearing before, but it couldn't have been much, given what I can hear now. You've all been warned: no more talking behind my back--I can hear you.

The technology on these devices is amazing. This set has 5 separate programs for such differing environments as loud background noise, music listening, close conversation and talking behind my back. Nah, just kidding on that last one. The devices sense the noise level and move to the appropriate program, which then adjusts the device so I have maximum hearing. I don't have to do a thing to cause these adjustments--all done through the chip in the device, which was programmed with a computer at the doctor's office. Installation of these feels like I just took the mufflers off my ears.

Next week is test week. I've got extensive lab tests, bone marrow biopsy and few others to undergo as part of the vaccine trial I completed. They are allowing me to have these done in Denver. I'll also be talking with Rifkin about the next treatment since the revlimid has hammered my blood counts and isn't consistently holding down my myeloma. My M protein has stayed relatively stable, around 2.7, but the IGGs have jumped from 2800 to 4800 to 3800. The bone marrow biopsy will hopefully provide a better gauge based on the degree of plasma cells detected. Regardless, we'll have to find a different drug(s) to bring the myeloma back in submission. I'm not sure what Rifkin has in mind and I haven't even arrived at my own opinion on the matter. He'll probably go into shock when he hears I don't have an opinion.

Although spring is here, it's still a bit cold for me. I'm waiting for temps consistently in the 70s before I get into a regular bicycling routine. What a wuss I've become. And to think I used to winter camp in Minnesota at minus 30 degree temperatures.

March 23rd was the 6th anniversary of my MM diagnosis. Unbelievable. This has been such an extraordinary journey that I can hardly remember what my life was like before cancer. "But that was in another country, and besides the wench is dead." (from "The Jews of Malta" by Christopher Marlowe). March 24 was brother Mike's birthday--let's just say he's not eligible for Social Security but it's not far away. And March 26 marks the 34th year since Susan and I met on our 2000 mile blind date. Lots to celebrate.

Best to all,


Steven L. Ritter said...

Glad you can hear now... And don't feel like a wimp about riding in the cold... I don't like it either!

Raining and windy here all week so I've had to hit the gym, I hate the gym!

Keep the attitude positive and hit the road as soon as it warms up!

Sandy said...

Not going to talk behind your back.... going to tell you right up front that I am so glad you have your hearing amplified! INtending that your March gives you even more to celebrate with your meeting with dr. R.

sigun said...

Dear Dan,

Didn't know you met Suz that long ago! Amazing!

Good luck with the biopsy tomorrow -- will be thinking of you. Bises, Sigun.

Trish Zickefoose said...

A few years ago John Sadwith persuaded me to go get hearing aids because our staff meetings were becoming so difficult for me. And of course John, ever the jokester, would pretend like he was talking to me without actually having any sound coming out of his mouth! I went and spent a fortune on the hearing aids and it changed my life forever. They are incredible little gadgets but always remember to put them in a safe place and take them off if you are on a roller coaster, ferry on the bay, or in a convertible automobile. And.....when you are on the bike make sure that they are on good after you put your helmet on otherwise you will be retracing your tire tracks. I tell you this from experience!

dan patterson said...

John Sadwith can move his mouth without making a sound? Amazing. I never thought that would be possible. Yeh, I already learned that wearing hearing aids when its winding is not pleasant. And as for biking, I've chosen not to wear them, hoping that I will at least still be able to hear a car honking at me.