Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Journey continues with Cycle 5 .......

Even though Bob has been in unrelenting, uncontrollable pain for the past weeks, he received great news on Tuesday.  He is almost in complete remission with his M-Spike (Cancer count) at 0.3 (started at almost 6.0) and his light chains are normal.

Bone pain is common with Multiple Myeloma, which secretes a hormone that breaks down the bones. Compression fractures of the spine, which is what Bob has, pose an even bigger problem. The bones are weakened and can no longer support the body, thereby creating fractures - which create pain.

His pain is almost to the point of being unbearable. He is now wearing two 50 ml Fentanyl pain patches, as well as taking 6 mg. of Delaudid every 4 hours. I even have the alarm set on my cell phone so that we don't miss a dose in the middle of the night. So far, we've tried MS-Contin (morphine), Vertebroplasty (bone cement injected into the fracture), Delaudid, and now, the pain patch. On Thursday, January 6, he has an appointment with an Orthopedic Spine doctor. Hopefully, he'll be able to suggest something to alleviate the pain. Otherwise, our next stop will be a Pain Management Specialist.

He has 3 more Chemo treatments, in this cycle, before Dallas. On the one hand, MM wouldn't be so bad if it were "only the cancer" - it's the scars it leaves behind. A Stem Cell Transplant (SCT) can ensure a few more years, but the SCT that helps to put the cancer in remission can do nothing to heal the pain that the cancer has left behind.

This past week, a young (42) man in our area, died because of this terrible disease. It's just isn't curable. Wouldn't it be wonderful, if in 2011, it became curable as well as treatable!!


  1. Have you tried increasing the pain medication? My wife was taking 480 mg of oxycotin a day and 90 mg of oxycodone a day. The pain medication tends to slow the gut action down so you have to be real vigilant about constipation. I know an mm patient who has severe pain from one vertebrae compression fracture. She had a pump with a reservoir for the pain medication placed under the skin to administer the pain medicine directly to the pain spot. The reservoir can be refilled with a needle through the skin. She seems to be doing pretty good with this. I hope you can find something that gives some relief.

  2. Jerry: Just found your comment!

    The higher dosage of MS-Contin was causing Respiratory Distress. A Pain Management Specialist will be the next step, if the Neurologist doesn't come up with something.

    Keep those suggestions coming.

    Hope your wife is better!