Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My three week Velcade vacation begins!

As part of my two year maintenance therapy for treating my myeloma, I get an injection of Velcade in my port once a week. On that day, I take 20 mg of dexamethasone. I had my weekly injection last Thursday and instead of waiting a week for my next, I got it again on Monday. That's just four days between injections.

The bad news is that in a few days, I'll probably have extreme side effects for a few days. Generally, that means fuzziness, dizziness, extreme fatigue, racing heart. Fun stuff.

The good news is that this is my last treatment until January 3! So after my side effects subside, I'll probably feel quite amazing and I'll sort of remember what it was like before I started all these treatments in January 2012. I'll still be taking my daily dose of thalidomide and once a week, I'll still be taking that 20 mg of dex but I'm told that my chemo brain will disappear once I'm off Velcade.

The reason I'm getting this break is that my old insurance is running out and I start my new insurance (thank you, Obamacare!) on January 1, 2014. So we squeezed as much into my old insurance as possible, followed by a Holiday break, and then back to the old regiment. It's ok, I'm ready and prepared for any and all of it.

While the Affordable Care Act rollout was a complete and utter disaster that only the federal government can get away with, I am so grateful for it. Without the ACA, people like me are uninsurable because we have pre-existing conditions. That is unconscionable. But as of January 1, 2014, we're covered-- and that's a great thing. My premiums are declining by nearly $500 per month and even with all the deductibles and co-pays and out-of-pockets, my overall healthcare will decrease about $1,100 for the year if everything goes wrong.

So on Monday, I went to my clinic appointment at Huntsman Cancer Institute and got my Velcade injection and a three hour dose of Aridia to strengthen my bones and make it a very unwelcoming environment for myeloma cells to grow. I actually sort of like those appointments. They are quite relaxing. On Monday, I got lunch upstairs (blackened salmon sandwich) and settled in and surfed the Internet on my new Surface. I love that thing. I read a little and made some phone calls.

Afterwards, I spent the rest of the day with my mom who had surgery. I am nursing her back to health. She is doing amazingly well and came home today and started cleaning the kitchen, which I (tried to) put a stop to right away. She is an amazingly strong woman. She is my hero.

After the girls got home from school today, Siena and I made homemade apple sauce. It was delicious. The whole house smelled of apples and cinnamon. Very Christmassy. I'm trying to simplify this year. A little less decorating and more personal time. I'm buying fewer gifts, though I'm probably spending more this year. But at least that cuts down on shopping time and stress. Tomorrow night I'm meeting up with new friends for a Christmas dinner and gift exchange. I'm thinking I like the new pace.