Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kickin' My Butt

If you want to be physically challenged, try exercising with someone 35 years younger than you are. Susan exercises regularly with Julia and manages to stay right with her through a variety of exercise classes, weight lifting, or anything else they might try at the club. I, on the other hand, am prohibited from going to the club because of my chronically low white count. So, Julia and her "friend" Bob asked me to go for a bike ride on Sunday. My first real ride in 2 years. Yes, I rode last year after getting back from Houston, but always in a leisurely manner. Sunday was different. Twenty miles and I was ready to puke. Huffin' and puffin' but I made it. Julia and Bob actually went further while I took a break at the 1o miles mark. But, they got me out and now it's just a matter of doing it regularly.

I had my counts checked on Friday and I am officially neutropenic. My white count is 1.9 and my neutrofils are .9. Nonetheless, Rifkin kept me on revlimid. He said he wants to "push" it to try to reduce my myeloma. I'm all for that. He just warned me to be careful and stay away from crowds. That's fine for now, but once baseball season starts, I've got to be able to get to the ballpark. I continue to reduce my neurontin for my neuropathies. I'm now at 50% dosage of where I was a month ago. The pain and numbness are more noticeable but the clarity of mind is worth it. Neuropathies caused by chemo, such as mine, can resolve over time and I'm hoping some of that is going on as well. Maybe getting feeling back in my feet will help my bike riding.

I also saw my ear doctor on Friday. While the sinus infection has apparently resolved, the hearing has not improved. I will be getting hearing aids for both ears in the next week. The nerves have been damaged from the chemo and my doctor does not believe it will resolve. I've seen as much improvement as he thinks I'm likely to get. While the chemo has obviously kept me alive, the side effects of these toxins have taken their toll. So be it.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, especially to my Irish friend Mari, who has kept me in cards, jokes, sock puppets and many other items to keep me in good humor through these past six years. May the Lord keep you in his hand and not close His fist too tight.

6 comments:

Sandy said...

Push, push, push??? I cannot believe you would take on even a 5-miler when you are neutropenic!!! But I am so glad to hear you felt well enough to go for it... intending more good days, improving health so you can go to the ball field and excellent aids to hear all the calls.

David said...

20 miles ain't bad for most people, especially for a spring ride. If you want to watch a baseball game in isolation, come on down to DC. Where we sit in the upper deck there is no one for yards in any direction now that Strassburg is in rehab.

Steven L. Ritter said...

WOW.. we now have 3 things in common, The MM, Cycling and being taken off the neurontin. I came off it fairly easy. I was falling and depressed but that resolved very quickly after being off it a week. My PN is also a little worse but I'm not going back on anything unless I have to. Keep up the cycling and stay away from crowds. Luckily cycling can be an individual sport! I have a 108 mile ride, the Mile High Hundred around Lake Almador CA in June... want to come and ride with me?

dan patterson said...

Steven,
Thanks for the invite but I think I'll pass on the 100 mile bike ride. I've got a lot of training to do to handle something like that. My doc lectured me about not overdoing it when my counts are so low. The low hemoglobin and hematocrit impair my oxygen intake and distribution. That explained why I got so winded on the 20 mile ride. But I'm keeping at it.

sigun said...

Dear Dan,

Welcome to the club of people wearing hearing aids! Remember, they are not ideal, impossible in crowds, but wonderful for listening to someone speak and especially for listening to music!

Bravo for the bike ride! Bises, Sigun.

tim's wife said...

20 MILES?!! I'm so outta shape, I wouldn't try that unless I had a cardiologist at the ready with a defibrolater(sp?).Isn't Susan a lucky woman that you are getting hearing aids. The rest of us will have to repeat ourselves and yell forever to our hearing-challenged husbands. Then again, maybe it's not vanity and Tim just doesn't want to hear me better! :o/
Happy belated St. Patty's day from Jersey where there are now WHITE shamrocks falling from the sky and covering our first spring blooms.
At least that's what I'm telling myself it is.