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Monday, January 31, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day 11

Hello Everyone.

Sorry for not Blogging much yesterday. Just too tired. Feeling a little better today. I feel like a Lion in a cage in here. Can't Wait to go back home. I keep imagining myself in my living room next to the fireplace just "being there"! Just a little more patience....Ommmmmmmmm! haha!

Besides that, physically still a little nausea and diarrhea but allot less then 3 days ago. I go for my daily walk on the hospital floor with a Mask for protection of course. But I do it everyday. There is also a tiny bicycle. I do 15 min. every 2 days now. Exercise has been proven to accelerate recovery, so keep moving. Of course I don't always feel like it but I still push myself to do it.

Appetite is still not quite there yet. I do eat a little but not much for the last few days. Mostly Fruit salad, soups, porridge and Boost drinks to compensate. It's like I wrote before "The greatest diet in the world"!

I have to be grateful for my Wife who takes care of so many little details. Having a Picc Line makes it a little harder to shower. Having to wrap the upper left arm with plastic and tape so no water goes on the dressing for the Picc Line. So I have to leave my left arm up while showering just to be on the safe side. While still being hoocked up to Gertrude my dancing partner!

If you read this and are scheduled for a Hospital stay like me, bring a good deodorant soap because you end up smelling pretty weird with the Chemo and also from the Preservatives that your Stem Cells have been bathing in while frozen. As soon as you start receiving the cells you can actually taste it. I can't find a way to describe the taste or the smell. My wife says it smells like Artichokes!?! Ok...sure didn't taste like it! lol

So, here are the numbers for today:

WBC   2.71
Hgb    121
Platelets 108
Neutrophils 2.63

As you can see if you compare from day to day it's pretty much a roller coaster for now!

Well, I will try to eat something now!

Keep Fighting!

Yvon

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day 10

Good afternoon to you all.

Well today I took a day off sort of. Just slept more then usual. Feeling tired. i was asked how long my hospital stay would be. I have no idea so far!

I took the time to shave my head off today, That way I won't end up with hair all over the place.

Here is the result:


Ya, I know I've looked better! Gotta go with the flow. Another temporary physical side effect! Doesn't bother me at all. I find it Funny!

Besides that not much new today. Blood work results show that the Neupogen is already working if you compare it to yesterday's results.

WBC  10.94
Hgb   120
Platelets 139
Neutrophils  10.82

I was told that Neutrophils should go back down though. We will see.

Catch you tomorrow.

Keep Fighting!

Yvon


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day 9

Happy Saturday to you all.

As promised I will share some pictures with you guys.

First of all, let me introduce to you Gertrude, My dancing partner for the next few weeks:

She beeps once in a while but besides that she is a sweetheart!
The next one is the nurse inspecting my Picc Line:


Picc Line looks fine so let's prepare the Melphalan Chemo:


You can see by the way the nurse dresses up with full face mask and all. That shows you how Toxic the Melphalan can be! I asked her if she was about to solder something?!? lol

Next, well it's me getting the Chemo...gotta keep smiling!



And the last one is just me Blogging:


Have to keep your mind Busy!

Besides that feeling not too bad. Still Nausea and a little diarrhea. Still have alot of heartburn though!
But this is all a question of time before it all gets back to normal. I guess that's why we are called "Patients".

Numbers for today:

WBC 3.08
Hgb  121
Platelets  168
Neutrophils 2.85

My Potassium levels were a little low yesterday and today too so I am getting Potassium supplements intravenously today.

Oh ya , Have you noticed the Award I received! Up left corner. Pretty proud of that!

Well that's it for now. Might Blog later.

Have a great weekend.

Keep Fighting!

Yvon

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day 8

Hello Friends.

Well, finally got my stem cells back. Very happy about that! Now they are warm and cosy at home!!!

The procedure went very well. Still a little nausea from the Chemo but not as bad as yesterday.
Now I just have to wait for the cells to migrate to the bone marrow and become whatever they need to be!

Blood counts for today:

WBC  3.54
Hgb   124
Platelets 183
Neutrophils 3.24

Slowly going down. Tomorrow I will start the Neupogen to help the Stem Cells .
Tomorrow I will also share some pictures my wife took while I was getting the Chemo.

That's it for now.

Keep Fighting

Yvon

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day 7

Hello everyone.

Well today was my "Day off" like they said. I've had better days off  believe me. The side effects of the Chemo kicked in last night. Nausea BIG Time.The next days will be the toughest ones but this is all temporary.  The Anti nausea meds make me very sleepy and drowsy. So the energy I had ordered today is Back Order. lol

Her are the Numbers from this morning blood work.

WBC  4.79
Hgb   126
Platelets  184
Neutrophils 4.16 (Higher then yesterday, weird!)

Tomorow is the big day. Should get my Stem cells around 10AM.

I will also get Allopurinol. It's a drug that helps eliminate faster all the dead cells killed by the chemo and lower the uric acid in my Blood. You will find more accurate info on this on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allopurinol

Moral is still 200%. It's only my Body that is sick, not my Spirit!

Keep Fighting!

Yvon

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day 6

Good evening Fighters

Well so far so good! Pretty much all the side effects from the Palifermin are gone.

Finally had my first good night sleep last night. Felt much better this morning. Had my second round of High Dose Melphalan at 11 am. Went very well again. Had a little nausea last night but that's it so far.

Blood counts are starting to lower quickly. So they moved me in an isolation room this afternoon.

WBC going down now at 4.72
Hemoglobin going down now at 132
Platelets also Now at 194
Neutrophils at 3.85

That was this morning. Numbers will most likely be much lower tomorrow. I'm happy the Melphalan is over with! Probably my last High dose Melphalan for this life! Appetite has decreased allot. Still have to eat though. Lots of protein rich meals to minimize muscle loss. Feeling physically tired tonight of course but that is normal. But the Moral is 200%! Today was a busy one again! Funny thing though. The toilet broke again in my old room! Glad to be out of there!

Thanks for reading.

With no Chemo tomorrow I should have more energy and time  to Blog.

Keep Fighting!

Yvon

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day 5

Good evening my friends.
 
Well, finally got the Internet connection solved! Total access!
 
So today I received my first round of Melphalan at 11 am. No side effects so far. Probably thanks to the Zofran (Anti Nausea Medicine).
 
I did have a nice conversation with the pharmacist yesterday or as they call him here “The Master of the Meds.” about the Pros and Cons of  Palifermin. The reason why, well personally I find that the side effects from this medication are worst then having sores in your mouth like I had during my first transplant.
 
To my surprise he agreed with me and himself was questioning the usefulness of this medication. This medication has only been around for less then 5 years and is still in it’s trial period. The average wholesale price of Palifermin is approximately $1700 per 6.25 mg vial dose. Pretty expensive stuff!
 
So conclusion. He cancelled the next 3 doses that I was suppose to get as I posted yesterday.
 
I’d rather suck on ice cubes during the Chemo and he also told me that this was very effective.
He suggested that I start this half an hour prior to the Chemo, During the Chemo and about 15 minutes after. So that’s what I did this morning. I have to admit that I was a little nervous prior to the Chemo but everything went very well.
 
Tomorrow same plan But Coumadin (Blood thinner) will be added the the chemo to prevent Blood cloths around the Picc Line.
 
Then Thursday I will be moved to the isolation room and start Acyclovir (Antiviral Drug) for prevention and also Zofran .
 
Friday my little baby cells will be given back to me. They have been frozen for 7 years, I bet they can’t wait to get out of that cold spell!
 
Saturday will be added Neupogen injections daily Neupogen is a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. In other words it stimulates the bone marrow to increase production of neutrophils.
 
The injections of  Neupogen will continue daily until the numbers start to climb up again.
 
I have to apologize for not answering my emails to all of you who have written to me. I’ll be catching up on this as soon as possible.
 
I have to thank LLS Canada (La Société de leucémie et lymphome du Canada) and Illumine La Nuit Quebec for posting on Facebook for me. Also thank you to Gabi Vermaak and Denis P. Muller.(Also Cancer Fighters) for Tweeting for me on Twitter for the past 5 days. Now I'm Back online!
 
Also thank you to CanSupport for the Free TV in my room and also for the Parking Pass so my Wonderful wife can visit daily. Greatly appreciated.  At $18 dollars a day I could not afford it.
 
Thank you little Angels!
 
So this will be my post for today. I’ll go and take care of some of those emails.
 
Keep Fighting!
 
Yvon

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day 4

Good evening everyone

Finally got the schedule for the coming week.


So today was a break from the Pelifermin.

Still had Blood work, vitals etc.

Tomorrow I will receive my first High dose Melphalan.
Then another dose on Wednesday.
Thursday I start the Antibiotics to prevent infections but no Chemo.

Then Friday is the day I get my Stem Cells back!!!

After that It’s again a waiting game. I will receive other medications but I will get the schedule for that tomorrow.

I still have not resolved the internet connection problems but I’m working on it.

I need to have it solved because once they move me to the isolation room I wont be able to have access to this computer.
Hopefully everything should be fixed by then. If not I wont be able to Blog so I HAVE to solve this!

That’s it for Tonight.

Keep Fighting!

Yvon or...Angelina Ugly!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day 3

 Good Sunday to you all.

Things are much quieter today. Yesterday was Rock and Roll enough.

So today so far, had blood work done at 5am only 2 vials this time. Later today I will receive my 3rd dose of  Palifermin. Then on Monday I get a day off from it and then 3 more days of Palifermin. I will probably have a bunch of other tests to do this coming week but I will only know tomorrow what they are.

So far some common side effects are starting a little. Change in pigmentation of the skin. Like if you were out in the sun too long and also a little swelling of the lips.

In other words I look Like Angelina Jolie back from a vacation in Cuba. lol

I have a recommendation that came to me last night. If you really wish to prepare yourself for a Hospital stay, well if you are like me and are used to sleeping in a dark  cool quiet room. You might want to start getting used to sleeping with some noises and some lights at least one week before your Hospitalisation.
This will help you sleep better. Hospitals are noisy places and lots of little lights everywhere. Just a suggestion.

Sorry I couldn't write earlier, the computer was not available.

That’s it for now.

Thanks for reading.

Keep Fighting!

Yvon

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Day 2...Surprise!

Well, well, well...what a day.

Believe it or not, I'm back in the Family room. The toilet in my room gave out! They have to put a new one in completely. There is water all over so I'm in here for a couple of hours.

So...Be ready for anything! But stay Positive+++, Hey I'll have a Brand new Toilet! Whoooohoooo!

Have to leave the computer to someone else for now.

Have a great evening!

Keep Fighting!

Yvon

Stem Cell Transplant day 2

Hello everyone.

I have some suggestions for you if you are ever admitted for a Transplant.

Do not take for granted everything they tell you over the phone!

Here is what I mean by that: I was told by phone that I had to be here before 11 AM....ended up waiting till 2 PM to have a room! Gave my list of Meds from the Pharmacy but for some reason everyone is in a hurry on a Friday afternoon! They mixed everything up! So (BRING YOUR MEDS!!!) just in case the same happens to you. You will have them at hand if this happens to you! Things aren't totally sorted out yet for me. Just met with the Nurse and the Weekend Doctor to sort it all out now waiting for the Pharmacy downstairs to prepare them but of course they too are short handed being the weekend!

My Picc Line was bleeding all night but has stopped now! That too was done in a hurry! But all fixed thanks to the wonderful nurse!

I was also told there was wireless Internet but...NOT! So I have to use the hospital computer still and it is not always available!

I was also told that the bottled water was included....NOT!

Don't get me wrong, I'm in a good mood and making the staff laugh and all but just wanted to let you know to keep an eye on everything. That is why we say "Knowledge is Power" Learn ALL you can about your Cancer and double check everything. When a Hospital is at 218% Capacity like here, errors can happen! Try to make friends with the Nurses and they will help you and keep an eye on you! Insist on getting all the info on what is happening or side effects of what they give you etc...!

Today, not much happening, Had a Chest x-ray last night around 6PM. Had Blood work done at 5:30 AM (14 vials this time).I Will receive another dose of PALIFERMIN late afternoon. I do not have any side effects form this so far!

If any of you wish to ask questions in French please find my email address in my Profile and send me an email. I will reply to the best of my knowledge as soon as I can. In French:  Ceux qui veules me poser des questions en Francais SVP allez dans mon profile et envoyez moi un couriel et je vais y repondre du mieux que je peut le plus tot possible. MERCI!

Wishing you all a great afternoon!

Keep Fighting

Yvon

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog day 1

Hello again.

Well things are moving fast here. Already got my Picc Line installed and will get my first dose of PALIFERMIN It is indicated to decrease the incidence and duration of severe oral mucositis in patients with hematologic malignancies receiving myelotoxic therapy requiring hematopoietic stem cell support.

In other words, less "Cold Sores". It's basically to protect your mouth and throat from damage due to the High dose Melphalan that I will probably receive next week. I will receive 3 rounds of Palifermin 3 days in a row. Then 1 day rest and then the BIG Chemo.

I'm still Blogging from the Hospital's computer because the Tech is off for the weekend (of course) so I can't log on with my Laptop.

That will be my last post for today.

Enjoy your evening!

Keep Fighting

Yvon

Stem Cell Transplant Day 1

Hello everyone.

Well, finally in my room. Temporary room until they transfer me to the "Sterile" room after the Chemo.

So far today I had Blood work done, Total very thorough full body exam, vitals etc.

Right now waiting for my Picc Line to be installed. ( Please follow this link for info on Picc Lines):

http://my-multiple-myeloma.blogspot.com/2011/01/stem-cell-transplant-day-4.html

They are not sure if it's going to be today or Tomorow. But, so far so good! All systems Go!

Getting settled in the room ready for the greatest diet in the world: Hospital Food! lol

Catch you later for more info.

Keep Fighting.

Yvon

Stem Cell Transplant Blog day 1

I'm here.  At the Hospital In the Family room waiting for MY room to be ready!

Later

Keep Fighting

Yvon

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day-0

Hello again.

I am on my way to the Hospital. Next post will be from there.

Not sure when. As soon as I can though!

Keep fighting.

Yvon

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Finally got the call!

Ok, Finally got the call. Admission at Royal Vic. Hospital Tomorrow 11 AM.
 
Let’s rock and roll!
 
So, got to get finalized here!
 
Next post tomorrow!
 
Keep Fighting!
 
Yvon

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day-0 or 1 or 2

Hello everyone.
 
Program for today, well I got the suitcase by the door ready to leave!
 
So I will get off the computer and enjoy the rest of the day at home.
 
I will update as soon as I have news from the Hospital or questions about Cancer of course!
 
Till then
 
Keep Fighting!
 
Yvon

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day-0...Maybe!

Well I guess that’s what you really call living one day at a time!
 
Noon and still no call. I know some of you might think “A lot of surgeries are postponed” and I understand that. But it’s not quite the same for a Stem Cell Transplant. It would be quite different if I was told “Well, sir it’s going to be next month” But that is not the way it works for this kind of procedure. You need to do the Stem Cell Transplant when the Cancer Markers are at their lowest. If you wait too long, by that I mean Months. The Cancer will creep back up! My last Chemo was almost 2 months ago. So that is why I am a little anxious on getting the call!
 
 
Patience is a virtue!
 
I’ll keep you updated!
 
Keep Fighting!
 
Yvon 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day-0...Maybe!

Hello everyone.

Don't have much to Blog about today! Wont know until 3 PM If it's today or later for admission.

I must admit that it's getting a little ridiculous. I've been postponed for 7 days now! Just not a confortable feeling being back to "Oh it might be Today!"!

So today I will only give thanks for all the emails, Tweets and encouraging messages I receive everyday. We will win this together!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

May you all have a wonderful Day.

Don't forget it's "I have a Dream" Day!

Keep fighting!

Yvon

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Myeloma History so far before my Second Stem Cell Transplant!

Hello everyone!
Again today I Blog from a Question I got in my emails.
So about my Myeloma
Well it all started after a trip to India in 2000. Came back with Sepsis! Not a good thing. But I used to live in Florida without any health insurance so
I didn’t investigate any further. I was on Antibiotics for 1 1/2 month! Never felt the same after that but still didn’t know I had MM.
2 Years later I was getting more and more tired, grouchy, nervous, anxious memory loss you name it. So it was kindly suggested to me to take a Sabbatical year off.
So, off to France! What a beautiful country. 2 months after being there I woke up in the middle of the night with a very high fever. Tried to stand up but both of my ankles gave out!
So I ended up a the local “Village” Doctor who sent me for Blood work. So I went for my Blood work in the morning on my own a few miles away and went back home.
Got a call I the same afternoon from the Doctor telling me to get my butt to the Hospital ASAP. The Lab had called him and said that I was such in bad shape that they could not believe I made it to the Lab on my own.
First Diagnosis, Sepsis again! This time my kidneys were failing. Spent 10 days there thinking (It’s just Sepsis, I’ll be back playing tennis in no time, Ya right!) as if it was nothing! Did not know the dangers of Sepsis back then!  On the 11th Day that’s when they told me I had Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma with too many bone lesions to count! My Cranium is full of holes. I had been wondering why I was braking ribs one after the other (18 so far)! That was June 13 2003! 88% of my Bone Marrow was Cancer. So I was told not to lift anything, ride too long in a car in case we hit a bump and brake my spine or whatever.....Gee I was playing Tennis 3 weeks earlier! What a shock!  So the next day I had my first Porth a Cath installed (Read earlier posts for info on Port's) and 1 hour later my first round of Chemo called VAD. That’s short for Vincristine, Adriamycin and Dexamethasone. They Plugged in a pump in my Porth that delivers the Chemo drop by drop for 4 days. Did 6 months of that and it was working pretty well The Cancer was down to 11%. I then decided to stop all treatments, had my porth removed and tried Alternative Medicines.  You name it, I tried it!
Came back to Canada and in 2005 started to feel tired again and I knew that feeling. So I consulted with an Oncologist in Montreal and the Cancer was back up to 72%. So by then I knew that I had to go through the Chemo and Transplant and all! When I decide I get into something I do it with all my Will and Heart! So I went for it like a Fighter! Had my first “Picc Line” installed for more VAD chemos. The Picc Line was a temporary thing until there was room available for them to install my second Porth. And 4 more rounds of VAD. But they swished me to Thalidomide and Dexamethasone because the VADS were starting to affect my Heart. Did 8 months of Thalidomide with Dex. That was pretty tough. But it worked. Ballooned up to 240 pounds! I was 185 before. Numbers were down to less the 10% of my marrow and M Spike down from 57 to 14. (Now 2,6). So off to the first transplant July 18 2005. 3 Months after the first transplant my M-Spike was down to 4.7 but wasn’t moving up or down.
So I was offered my second transplant right away. I refused it. I wanted to work on myself. On being a better person. 8 months after the first transplant all the markers disappeared completely to my doctors amazement. I was sure I was “Cured”! Then about 4 years later I was in pretty good shape. Playing Tennis again back in the Gym and all. Then in March of 2010....I fell off the roof! Not a good thing when you have MM! A few weeks later I started to feel tired again and yes, it was back! Hit me like a ton of bricks! I was told that any kind of Trauma either emotional or physical can “Wake up” the Cancer. So another good reason to stay positive and have good attitude towards everything in life.
But I was able to lift myself up, dust myself off and off to war we go again! Had 18 rounds of “CyborD” protocol (Again read earlier posts) and as you know by now I am just waiting for the call for the second Transplant! Should be Monday or Tuesday.
Right now I’m feeling pretty good since my last Chemo was 2 months ago. So I’m ready for it. After that my priority is to get back in shape to enjoy life again. I wish I would have started the Blog sooner so I could have more followers. Just wish to help as many people as possible.
 



Well, I guess that sums it up.
 
Any Questions?
Keep Fighting!
Yvon

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cancer and Spirituality!

Hello again!
 
What? Spirituality?
 
Well, now I’m either going to gain or loose some followers here!
Once again, this is “MY” experience.
Just want to share this with you guys!
 
Before my first Transplant I had a dear Friend (No I won’t tell you who!) suggested to me the name of an Angel! The Angel’s name is Lelahel (Divine light that heals everything).
 
Well during my Hospital stay I prayed this Angel many times a day.
I just repeated the name in my head and in my heart as often as I could!
 
No I did not pray to “God”, I figured he had enough on his hands these days anyway! lol
 
Results well, usual length of stay for Stem Cell Transplant is 4 to 6 weeks!
I stayed 11 days! With no Blood or Platelets transfusion and no Diarrhea.
 
The Oncologist that will be supervising my second Transplant just can’t believe it. She never saw or experienced this yet! Still, this is true! Ask your Oncologist if this is a common thing!
 
What's my religion? All of them! Whatever makes you a better person...!
 
Remember yesterday’s post about Rabbi Penn? Well I lit a Candle for him and prayed Lelahel!
Got a email 1 hour later from his sister telling me that his fever was gone and he is getting better!
 
Coincidence? Believe what you want. No I do not claim that I cured him.
 
All of the positive thoughts and Prayers that whoever joined me did, well it worked!
Rabbi Penn is on his way to recovery!
 
And guess what? It’s FREE!
 
All they ask of you is to be Grateful!
 
So, thank you all for your Prayers and/or positive thoughts for Rabbi Penn.
 
That’s it for now.
 
Keep Fighting!
 
Yvon

Stem Cell Transplant Blog How to raise you WBC


Ok Finally got some news. No admissions on weekends. It will be either Monday or Tuesday.
They said that there will be admissions on Monday and Tuesday. I will know Monday 10:30 AM.
Now at least I can enjoy my weekend by the Fireplace “Again”! 
Was –18 degrees Celsius this Morning, that’s about –3 F. ! Makes the Fireplace even more enjoyable!
So, I did get a question by email from another Cancer Fighter!
How to raise your WBC (White Blood Cells Count)!
One again I insist (CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR)!!!
So here is what I found on how to helps raise your WBC Naturally:
Ways To Increase Your WBC Count:
Have A Healthy Diet
There is nothing better than a healthy diet, to increase the count of white blood cells in your body and reward you with an efficient immune system. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. The phytochemicals that lend fruits and vegetables their rich colors help the body build a strong immune system as well. So, start eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables on an everyday basis. In fact, you should cover two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and beans, and the rest with lean protein
Indulge In Regular Exercise
The importance of exercise can never ever be overemphasized in your life. Be it getting rid of the excess fat, keeping blood sugar levels under check or increasing the white blood cells in your body, indulging in a physical activity on a regular basis always comes as one of the most effective remedies. Exercising for at least 30 minutes in a day will provide you with a lot of benefit. It does not mean that you can only hit the gym or lift weights at home. Just be active for the said time, say by walking climbing stairs, cycling, etc..
Switch Over To Green Tea
Regular consumption of green tea can also go a long way in increasing your WBC count, by stimulating the production of white blood cells. All you have to do is replace 1-2 cups of tea/ coffee/ colas with decaffeinated green tea, on a daily basis. The tea comprises of catechin, a type of antioxidant that contains a specific catechin - epigallocatechin gallate or egcg (which gives it antigen-fighting abilities). Green tea catechins have been known to help perk up lymphocyte responses and even boast of anti-inflammatory effects. Want to know more about Catechins, just Google it! Plenty of info on Wiki! There are some types of Cancers where Green Tea is not recommended! Like mine!!!

Green Tea with Velcade

By now you have probably heard the warning ricocheting around the myeloma survivor community about NOT taking green tea or its derivatives with Velcade (bortezomib). It turns out that Green tea polyphenols block the anticancer effects of bortezomib and other boronic-acid based proteasome inhibitors. EGCG (Catechins and Polyphenols in Green Tea) was particularly effective at preventing cell death from Velcade, both in vitro and in real people.

So, if you are on Velcade or the trial drug Carfilzomib, you should stay away from green tea, right? And what about black tea, which contains similar polyphenols? Just don't drink tea?

A Naturopath, Dr HH, took it a step further and wrote to an author of the study published in Blood Journal , asking if there was a safe time period before and after a Velcade infusion for a person to enjoy a cup of tea. The author responded by email as follows: "Based on our observations, in combination with the known half lives of bortezomib and green tea products, we would recommend a "safety zone" of 24 hours before and 24 hours after bortezomib injection for the avoidance of green tea and green tea products."

So it appears that you can enjoy your cup of tea and maybe even your EGCG supplement, if you like, as long as you maintain that 24-hour "safety zone" of time.

Questions remain: Would green tea interfere with any other myeloma drugs? Would other supplements interfere with Velcade? There are plenty of studies showing the benefits of various supplements, but few of those have the supplement in combination with FDA-approved medicines like Revlimid, Thalidomide, or even dexamethasone.
Personally, I just avoid it period!
Some More Ways
  • Consult a doctor and take a multivitamin specific to your age and gender. Do make sure that it includes a healthy amount of zinc.
  • Include lots of lean protein sources in your diet. You should consume 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of your body weight.
  • Try not to let your total fat intake go beyond 30 percent of your daily calories. At the same time, of the total fat intake, make sure that 5-10 percent comes from saturated fats.
  • Increase your consumption of friendly bacteria; say in the form of yogurt or kefir drink. Such bacteria stimulate the immunity cells in your gastrointestinal tract. Unless you are under Chemo! Check with your doctor or Dietitian if there is one where you are followed for your Cancer! Because if your immune system is too low, there is a chance that those "Friendly Bacteria" might go through your intestines and enter your Blood Stream, Then you're in BIG trouble!
Hope this helps.
Thank you to Gabi for the kind comment about yesterday’s post!
Keep Fighting! And Enjoy your weekend!
Yvon

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Waiting for the call!

Hi everyone
Still at home waiting for “The Call” for admission to the Hospital....3 day delay already!
Yes I know even some of you are tired of waiting for me to be admitted too! I got an email from a dear friend telling me that she was starting to run out of candles that she lights for me everyday thinking that it’s “The Day” lol
So instead of Day-something let’s just call this “On Standby”!
Cant be more ready then I am now! All packed and ready to go! Honestly, I hate waiting. I want to get it over with!
I did call the Hospital myself yesterday trying to find out how many more days I have to wait but...no info! Don’t call us we will call you!
Darn, I’m not applying for a Job here ha-ha!
Anyway, I did not receive any questions today so I’m consulting with my Hamster (See yesterday’s post) to see what we are going to Blog about today.
How about who you surround yourself with! If you are Battling Cancer, try not to hang around those who Pity you! Yes that’s right, Be a fighter and stand up for yourself. Be Positive and reject the “Oh, poor you!” “It’s so unfair!” “Why me?” etc....
My belief, and I insist it’s “My” belief! Not trying to impose anything here. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Yep that's right that applies to me too!
Cancer has changed my life for the better. I used to be cranky, arrogant, selfish, pessimistic and negative! When I was told that I had Multiple Myeloma stage III after being admitted in the hospital for Sepsis.
I didn't tell myself “Oh my God, why me?” I knew why, I had to change. Everything! Now, well those who know me personally know that I have changed.
Still lot’s of work to be done, but moving forward!
Sure you can eat Organic and take all the Anti-Oxidants that are out there on the market. But believe me, If you are negative, depressed, see the Glass half empty like I used too.
You might be preparing yourself for a big surprise!
How about having “Organic Thoughts or feelings in your heart” lol.
Maybe ask yourself, “What did I sow to harvest this crop?”
For me now I wake up so Happy every morning and I love to make my Wonderful wife laugh. She usually gets up earlier then me and I stay in bed thinking “What prank can I pull on her to make her laugh!” And I succeed everyday!
I have been through allot of Chemo and one Stem Cell Transplant already and some of you Cancer Fighters out there know about “Grande Fatigue” Well, when I get up in the morning I’m like an old rechargeable battery. I’m full of energy for about one hour, then the fatigue sets in but still, I make then most out of this hour. I appreciate it and I am grateful for this hour.
Before the Cancer I used to have lot’s of energy and needed little sleep. But did I appreciate it? Did I make the most of it? No!
Now I do. And after that, thank God for the Internet and you Guys! Blogging doesn’t take too much energy and is actually a real therapy for me.
I will end this post on a note:
For those who wish to join me, let’s have a thought or a Prayer for my friend Rabbi Martin Penn who is in the intensive care unit with fever and breathing problems and all!
He has Multiple Myeloma on top of that like me and is following the same Chemo Protocol as I did.
Who is Rabbi Penn, well he used to be an very respected International Speaker but had a Throat Trauma 17 years ago that left him mute, had two strokes, cant speak, walk, and barely moves his right side.
Think I had it tough, think again!  Now that’s a Fighter.
Keep Fighting and Never give up!
Yvon

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day-1

Good Day everyone!
 
Well, it’s tomorrow again. Admission for a Stem Cell Transplant is a waiting game! (See post from Jan 8th).
 
It’s not a very confortable situation because you go to bed thinking “Well, Tomorrow is probably the Big day!”
and then you wake up thinking “Well it’s probably Today” till noon. Then it’s all over again!
I refer to my Brain (Yes I have one) as a Hamster running in a cage. Right now mine is about to have a hearth attack! lol!
 
OK Here is a question I got in my emails today from a Cancer Fighter:
 
Did you use Poly-MVA?
 
Well, yes I did.
 
My experience with it (Hope I don’t get a lawsuit for that!):
 
Contacted Mr..x, got great communication with the guy until I purchase the product!!!
After that, no reply to my email questions what so ever!
Hmmmmmm, not a good sign I told myself.
Still, I purchased it so I tried it. Results.......none!
 
Poly MVA is a Liquid that contains a mineral called Palladium.
The Gentlemen claimed that it cured Multiple Myeloma and other forms of Cancer.
 
Want to know more about it just Google it! I wont elaborate on the subject.
 
Still want to try it Anyway...Knock yourselves out!
I just personally find it useless and VERY expensive!
 
Keep Fighting and Never give up!
 
Yvon

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day-1 again! More Tips!

Hello again.

I think I forgot to mention one of the most important cure for Cancer: Laugh, Laugh, Laugh! Be able to make fun of yourself. Make the Hospital Staff Laugh, Make the other  patients Laugh. Watch Stand-up comics or Comedies. But most of all, Laugh with your friends. De-dramatize the situation. Thanks to my best friend Claude Forest who made and keeps making fun of me till I cry laughing! Make it your favorite pastime. Making others Laugh brings you an incredible feeling of giving. At least for me!

Other thing, Drink, drink, drink! Not Booze! (Although I did the Red Wine cure for a while, lol) Don't go there! ha-ha! Vichy Water is the best! Chemo depletes your system of many minerals. Vichy Water has most of the natural minerals in it! A little salty at first but you get used to it very quickly! This was suggested to me by Dr. Pascale Raby in France at the Pasteur Hospital in Colmar 7 years ago! I have been drinking one 1.25 L. bottle everyday ever since.

Drinking saves your kidneys! Unless you have kidney problems and told otherwise by your Oncologist.

Again, check with your doctor!

Tomorowzanadaday!

Keep Fighting!

Yvon

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day-1 again!

Hello everyone. I did get the call: Well it's tomorrow....I hope! See my previous post on why this might happen!
So, what are we going to talk about today. Well I got an email from a Cancer patient with questions on if and what I did besides Chemo and all! Well yes I did do alternative medicines. But never while on Chemo. Do not underestimate the power of Herbs and Supplements. Either do one or the other but not both. Some Herbs literally block the effects of the Chemo. I've experienced it! So don't do it. If you are not in treatment then here is what I did. (I am not a Doctor so this is just what I did!)
After my first Stem Cell Transplant my M Spike (Cancer Marker) was still at 4.7. So I decided to give Curcumin a trial after reading an article from Dr. Aggarawal! My M spike disappeared completely after 6 months! No kidding. and I stayed in complete remission for 4 1/2 years after that. I used Life Extension, Super Curcumin with Bioperine. The Bioperine helps assimilate the Curcumin more easily. Why not take Turmeric instead? Well Turmeric or Curcuma contains only around 3 to 5% of the active ingredient "Curcumin" compared to close to 95% with Super Curcumin. If you try this start with one pill and see how your stomach tolerates it. Then work your way up from there.

Talk to your doctor about it.

If you wish to give it a try you can get a 5% discount with this coupon code PAP218 at www.iherb.com. Not much of a discount but 5%discount is 5% less! Allot of research has been done on this by Dr. Aggarawal. You can read about Him on the International Myeloma foundation site: http://myeloma.org/ArticlePage.action?articleId=2237
What I did is simple. I just bought a 24 bottle case and worked my way up to 3 pills 3 times a day till the case was finished and Pouffff! The M Spike disappeared completely. I remember the Doctor’s face when he told me he could not explain why it happened.
And that’s my plan after my second transplant too but I will stay on it forever!
As far as Meditation yes I did and still do. If you speak French I’d tell you to go to my website but I do not have it set up I English yet.
I also did Acupuncture for my Intestines (Decadron is terrible for the digestive system).
And I Also did the “Breuss Juice Cure for Cancer”.

I am convinced that it all helped allot.
Hope this info is useful to you too.

Wishing you the best and ask me any question you wish.
That's it for now. Time to get some of that cold Canadian Fresh Air!


Keep Fighting!


Yvon

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day-0

Hello everyone. I am still at home waiting for "The phone call" for admission. Why wait for a call when they told me it was The 11th. Well you see, there are only 6 "Sterile" rooms at the Hospital I go to and when you get a transplant the length of stay is different from one person to another. So if the Patient in the room that was assigned to me needs to stay a day more then you wait! Yes I know, boring! But that's the way it is. If I don't get the call before noon then It's tomorrow, then again that's a theory! I guess that's why they we are called "Patients"

To Andrea: I replied to your comment! Thanks!

Keep Fighting

Yvon

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Blog Day-1

Hello everyone. How did I end up jumping from day-3 to day-1 I don't know. lol! Anyway, today packing up trying not to forget anything. Feeling confident but still a little nervous. Only 24 hours away from admission. Still, here's a little more info. I blogged on Jan 8 about the “Picc Line”. Forgot to mention that some of you might have or will have a “Porth a cath”. I've had 2 before. There are single ones and double ones. I've had both. If you have one then you don't need the "Picc Line". This will be my second "Picc Line". Why I had my porth a cath removed. Well once in complete remission they end up being a pain in the butt! Having to rinse it out every month or every other month. But they are very practical for the Hospital staff. So if your Doc suggests you one I say go for it.
Here is a picture of different types of  porth a caths:


And here is a picture on how it is installed under the skin. You don't see it, all you see is a Bump below your Clavicle:


The Idea behind either the Picc Line or the Porth is the have the Chemo mix or dilute in your blood as quickly as possible without burning your veins!. So that is why the small tube goes right above the Heart. I hope I explained it right.

So you all have a great day and Keep Fighting!

Yvon 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Day-3 Tips and Tricks

Good Morning everyone. I wanted to share a small but important "Trick" while you receive the Chemo before the transplant. Suck on Ice Cubes. Yep that's it! Buy those plastic bags that you fill with Bottled water (Not suppose to drink tap water during the hospital stay). Why the plastic bags? Because the ice is shaped more like a flying saucer and you just twirl it around in your mouth. All over. Gums, Inner Cheeks, under the tongue. This will slow down the blood flow so less Chemo travels through your mouth = Less side effects such as cold sores or swelling of the tongue. Got this tip from Mr. Aldo Delcol Founder of Myeloma Canada. SO "THANKS" Aldo!

Enjoy your day

Never Give Up!

Yvon

 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stem Cell Transplant Day-4 More Info

Great new website: http://www.mymultiplemyeloma.com/

Never give up!

Yvon

Stem Cell Transplant Day-4

Hello again. Well I thought I'd tell you what's going to happen first on the 11th. First I'll be admitted in the early afternoon. Settle i the room and right away same day. Installation of a "Pic Line" A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC or PIC line) is a form of intravenous access that can be used for a prolonged period of time (e.g. for long chemotherapy regimens, extended antibiotic therapy, or total parenteral nutrition).
After that it's Chemo time. 2 rounds of Melphalan to basically kill your bone marrow and then a little while after that, reintroduction of the stem cells. Then after it's a waiting game. Once the stem cells have migrated to the Marrow and your immune system comes back up...you go Home! But that can take quite a while and the time it takes for the Stem cells to migrate to the bone marrow and become whatever it decides. Stem cells can become pretty much anything. White or Red Blood Cells, Platelets, etc.....Pretty Amazing what these little cells can do! The average time spent in the "Sterile Room" is 4 to 6 weeks. But there are rare exceptions and I was one of the lucky ones on my first Stem Cell Transplant as I was only 11 days at the Hospital.  Believe that you too can be that exception and it will happen! So now I will do what the Doctor told me: Enjoy my weekend home!

Never Give Up!

Yvon

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bone Marrow Transplant Day-5

Hello Friends.
Well everything went rather well today. Had Blood work done (10 vials). Lungs OK, Heart OK....so far so good. Had a long chat with Dr. Propradi. Wonderful Lady Doctor. Proud of myself cause I made people laugh out loud in the waiting room. Made the nurses laugh and the Doctor too when she asked me to remove my chirt to examine me I started signing "I'm too sexy for my wife" and she cracked up!
I beleive in respecting the medical staff! Being a nurse is quite a Job. I think that after being a nurse all your life and caring for others...when you die you're an Angel!
Still Schedule for the 11th.

That's it for today.
Keep Fighting!

Yvon

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Just a Link for more info!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hematopoietic_stem_cell_transplantation#Autologous
Over and out!
Yvon

Bone Marrow Transplant Day-6

Today I am leaving for Montreal because tomorow is Pre-op exams for the 11. Not sure I'll be able to post but will sure try. If not will be back online on Saturday. Ciao!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bone Marrow Transplant Day-7

Well my friends, enough computer for today. Time to finish the list of what to bring!
Wishing you all a good evening.
Catch you tomorow! And "Hang in there"!

Bone Marrow Transplant Day-7

Hi Yall, Thought I'd let you know what was the preparation for the BMT:
I was on the "CyBorD" Protocol wich is supposed to be a 16 week regiment of Bertozomid, Cyclophosphamide and Dexametazone. I actually did 18 weeks instead of 16! My M Spike (Myeloma Marker) is down to 2.6. Not bad considering it was 14 before my first transplant and over 50 before that. IgG used to be 88 now 7. 88% of the marrow was affected now dowmn to less then 10%.
If anyone has any questions about the deasease and or treatments please feel free to post your questions. Yall have a nice day now!

Bone Marrow Transplant

Good Morning everyone.
Today, just more preperations for the Big day -7. Feeling good today considering. More and More confident that everything will be fine! Positive, Positive, Positive!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Confirmation

Confirmed. Exams on Friday! Admission on the 11-01-11...Funny!

Countdown -8

Today, starting to get my things organised, making a list of everything to bring, 4 to 6 weeks is a long time alone in a room. But you got to keep busy. I know as this is my second time!!! Dont forget the Shower Slippers! (Gougounes)! Thank God for the Laptop! Oh, by the way, I'll be at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. Should have a few tests this week, just dont know yet. I'll keep you all posted. Dont forget: Tomorozanadaday! :-)

More Info on Multiple Myeloma...What it is!

Dear Friends, following this link you will find the right info on what Multiple Myeloma is:

http://www.medicinenet.com/multiple_myeloma/article.htm

Yvon