Let's just cut to the chase shall we?
July Free-Lite numbers: kappa 407, ratio 48 (up again)
FL has some signs of pleurisy, which is either "some residual pneumonia" or a blood clot on his lung. X-ray shows a small shadow and some myeloma lesions in the adjacent ribs. The Doctor was unable to say whether these were new or old because they did not have the previous x-ray to hand. They will have to await a full report. But that's not really the issue of the day.
It was Dr JustANuisance, who has to have things dragged out of him - he gives nothing away. So when he said he didn't intend to request another Free-Lite test this month we were initially confused. Then he said he needed to discuss "treatment" with the consultant and wandered off, taking FL's file with him. We were still thinking it was for the lung issue - more antibiotics perhaps?
Then FL was sent to have his Zometa drip, and the Doctor took me to one side in the corridor and explained that he was talking about Velcade when he mentioned "treatment". Oh bugger. I told him he shouldn't just assume that FL will agree with that option - that he would need to speak to him in person and explain what it means. So FL and his drip were wheeled back into the consulting room and I had to conduct a session of 20 questions on Velcade on FL's behalf (Doctor's answers in purple): "What are the side effects?" Dizziness. "What about Peripheral Neuropathy?" Oh, um yes well that is the most common side effect. FL looked blank - so I explained: numbness and tingling in feet and hands which increases over time. "So it's like Thalidomide then?" asked FL. Oh no - it's a different drug! FL then asked about the long-term side effects. LONG-TERM?! (Yes, I am afraid the doctor did indeed splutter with something like laughter at the prospect of long-term anything. A trifle callous, in my opinion.) "Do you have a Patient Information leaflet we can take away?" Oh I'm not sure - we are moving the clinic and everything is in boxes... sorry.
I'll stop there. You get the picture. The conclusion to all this was that we have booked in for a regular Haematology appointment in a month's time, at which FL will give his decision about whether or not to proceed with a course of Velcade and Dexamethazone the following week. The treatment will involve going to the hospital for an intravenous chemo drip for three mornings a week for two weeks, then a holiday for a week (or is it two?) and then repeat, for a maximum of 6 courses.
And yes we do have a Patient Information leaflet to read.
And the Doctor did say "I am sorry..." as we were leaving.