velcade - cycle four
The good news is that there is nothing new to report. The results of my third cycle on Velcade have just arrived and they show the protein free light chain count to be at 116. That is up slightly from the count of 95 at the end of the second cycle. However, with my doctor's okay I had one less treatment in the third cycle so that I would not have to interrupt our vacation in order to come back to St. Paul's for an injection. As a result, I am not surprised that there is a slight increase in the count. This is an indication that I do need the combination of Velcade and dexamethasone in order to keep the number from climbing. It is an indication that the treatment continues to work.
Now that things are stable and I am feeling well I have found the motivation to follow up on a suggestion that a friend offered when I was first diagnosed last year. Catherine suggested that I look into Inspire Health here in Vancouver. Inspire Health is an integrative cancer care centre that provides care in conjunction with that already being offered through my doctor and the BC Cancer Agency. The centre receives funding from the medical plan. My doctor agrees that becoming a member of Inspire Health is a good idea. So I have signed up for the two day LIFE program which is the entry into the centre's programs and will be taking it in mid-September when I finish my current cycle on Velcade. The plan is to be as healthy as I can be. I am looking forward to learning more about ways to assist my body, mind and spirit in coping with these diseases.
One interesting note. There is one particular substance which I have been warned by the doctors and nurses not to ingest while receiving Velcade. It is green tea. Yes, green tea. For some unknown reason green tea has been found to block the intended effects of Velcade. Since Velcade is such a new drug and since it has shown to be negatively affected by green tea I am also not to take any herbal supplements. This is interesting to me since I expect that alternative cancer care often includes receiving herbal supplements and drinking healthy things like green tea! The good news is that I can still have my morning coffee and can still enjoy a beer while watching football or hockey.