velcade (round two - cycle seven)

Life on bortezomib (Velcade), cyclophoshamide and dexamethasone continues as I am now well into another thirty-five day cycle of weekly doses. Did I say that I am just a little tired of the weekly mood and energy swings caused by even my relatively mild dosage of dex? Oh, yes, I did. Nothing new on that front. However, my struggles with dex are offset this month with the good news that the free light chain count dropped from the last report of 145 to 95 - under 100 for the first time in awhile. It is a welcome Christmas gift to receive. After the slow and steady increases in the free light chains it is a bit surprising to see this reversal. It will be interesting to see if it continues following cycle seven and cycle eight. That will be the end of this round on Velcade. We have been assuming that the ever increasing numbers meant shifting to a new treatment plan in the Spring. But if the numbers stay low perhaps there will be the possibility of gaining approval for another round of this treatment. In the meantime, we carry on ...

It means that this year I have my weekly chemo treatments on Christmas Eve and on New Year's Eve. That also means that I will spend Christmas Day and New Year's Day coping with the weekly steroid rush. It is not the best timing in the world but it is much better than suffering from symptoms of myeloma and/or amyloidosis. It is hard to believe that this will be my third Christmas since being diagnosed. The shock has long since worn off. The new normal is, well, just normal now. And I am grateful for normalcy. Yes, even this level of dexamethasone normalcy. There, I said it.

Now, on to writing sermons for the last Sunday of Advent and for Christmas Eve. One of the privileges of my life is the challenge and opportunity to try to find the words when no words can match the news. In this morning's breakfast Bible conversation we were reading II Corinthians 2 and came across verse sixteen which includes the line: "Who is sufficient for these things?" (New Revised Standard Version) or "Who is equal to such a task?" (New Jerusalem Bible). It is the possibility of this impossible calling which draws me back again and again. I will aim to post these upcoming sermons here as an Advent / Christmas gift.  


  1. ...there are no words....but you, Ed, always seem to find them. Bless you!

  2. Foster - I wish it were true that I found them. When the words fit they are not found, they are given, the free gift of God. Thanks so much for the encouragement!