Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Today was FL's regular hospital appointment.
We approached it with slightly more trepidation than usual, because as you may have gathered he has not "been himself" these last few weeks. His main symptom has been tiredness, which is nothing new, but it seems to have reached a new level which is interfering with his daily activities. He is particularly frustrated not to be able to concentrate on his book, except on dexy day... and writing on dexamethazone is not to be recommended, let me tell you! He has been morose and unhappy and managed to fall out with all his golf buddies over the space of a week. Then he fell out with the farm labourer. And with the bar-man in Wetherspoons. And he tried pretty hard to fall out with me, but I was having none of it. ; )
So, doctor, what can you tell us?
It was the lovely Italian doctor. She knows we like numbers, and she supplied them with supporting interpretation. Why can't all doctors speak so plainly?
Freelite test from January: 33
This is "slightly up", in the context of a gently fluctuating figure. We finally were given real numbers from the past few months:
July 2012 = 27
August 2012 = 23
October 2012 = 19
November 2012 = 24
January 2013 = 33
She has ordered another Freelite test today. We know from past experience that the myeloma will be officially "back" when his Freelite number reaches 100. In the doctor's words: "You are on Revlimid until the myeloma comes back... and you're not there yet". Yet. He is on cycle 27, if anyone is counting.
Other numbers of note:
Creatinine (kidney function) = 122 (normal is in the range 50 to 120)
Haemoglobin fine at 139
Platelets fine at 176
White cells fine at 5.8
Neutrophils fine at 2.4
Interestingly, she asked him if he was experiencing any bone pain... and he took forever to answer. She joked that surely he would know...? He said "I was just thinking around my body and checking out my bones one by one. No, I don't think so, not really..." Convinced? Me neither!
The doctor said that if he was feeling any bone pain, he needed to call in straightaway, and not wait for his next appointment. That he would need an x-ray of the affected area and that he must not hesitate to make the call. So that's him told - was he listening? I was!
He was unusually honest about how he had been feeling - the tiredness, that is. She was clearly concerned, wondering if he had been suffering from any colds, fevers, infections? But he admitted to nothing.
Later in the waiting room, the Macmillan (male) nurse stopped by for a casual "how are you" chat and I can't help thinking the doctor had sent him FL's way. No, he's not himself right now.
Oh - and he has toothache. That won't be helping his mood either! He is going to the local dentist tomorrow for a check-up. You will remember that he has osteonecrosis of the jaw and is not allowed to have any invasive tooth-work. So we shall see.
At least his black toe appears to be coming back to its normal colour again, so it IS the bruise he assured me it was, and not something more sinister. I haven't mentioned this on the blog before. It was just another little niggling worry he came up with over the last week or so. You just don't know when to take things seriously and when to let them glide by withiout a second thought.
So, what's the summary? He's not as fine as he was, but he's alright! Phew.