The doctor told us that Bob's cancer was a Stage 3. Unlike other cancers, MM only has 3 stages. He advised that Stage 3 meant that he would need treatment - where Stages 1 and 2 did not. We were also happy to hear that there were no lesions in his bones. Thank you, Lord!
The treatment would be Velcade (dosage based on his weight, each time) combined with oral Dexamethasone (steroids) 20 mg. taken the day of, and the day after, treatment. He would also be given Acyclovir, to prevent Shingles (a painful rash caused by reactivation of dormant chicken pox virus).
We were told that, after several Chemo treatments, he would probably experience peripheral neuropathy (tingling, numbness and pain in the hands and feet). And, he might experience sores in his mouth and throat. For this, we were given a "recipe" for a home remedy mouthwash - 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of soda, mixed in 8 oz. of water, to be used 4 times per day.
Chemo would be administered Tuesdays and Fridays for two weeks, just a "push" (5 - 10 seconds) in his Pic line.....then 10 days rest before the next cycle.
- No crowds, and no small children, because of his compromised immune system (no more WalMart experiences, for him!)
- All fruits had to be peeled. Grapes, strawberries, blueberries - had to be washed thoroughly, and then put in the freezer to kill any bacteria.
- No salad bars
- No fresh broccoli or cauliflower
- Wash hands thoroughly, and keep hands away from mouth and nose
One of the benefits of the Velcade (other than destroying cancer cells) is the fact that it usually does not cause nausea. Bob's stomach tends to get upset easily, so we went with my brother's (a throat cancer survivor) suggestion of a prescription for nausea medication, and even though he felt great on the first day of Chemo; he took a Phenergan prior to bed. We'll never know if the Velcade doesn't cause nausea, or if it's the Phenergan doing its job - and we don't care!
Bob felt great after the first Chemo treatment ......this might not be bad, after all!!