Posted by: Andy | October 5, 2007

Diagnosis confirmed

On Wednesday Dr. Dushkin told mom that the specific abnormal  protein that would almost certainly confirm the diagnosis was found in dad’s blood. The last thing to do to make it 100 percent certain was to check the result of the bone marrow biopsy. Dad had that done on Monday and was out of it most of the day. They gave him a gram of morphine during the procedure and the nurse told mom that she’d seen people who had 1/2 a gram sleep an entire day. Dad had a fever as well and wasn’t eating.

The results of the skeletal survey to look for lytic lesions had come back on Tuesday. Lytic lesions are holes in your bones that are created where the myeloma cells attach themselves. Dad had 2 lesions – one on each femur. The left lesion was much worse than the right – and at some point would require surgery and the insertion of a steel pin to stablize it so the bone doesn’t break. Thankfully they put this off for a little while until it becomes more necessary. Dad mentioned to mom that he had pain is his legs for about 5 years. Ack! I hate to think he’s been walking around with this for that long – but then again – there isn’t much more they can do for you even if they catch it early. They just wait for symptoms to develop and then start treating you.

They kept him in the hospital for more tests and to run a 24 hour urinalysis to check his creatinine levels – an indicator of how well the kidneys are functioning. The doctors told him his kidneys were compromised and functioning at about 70 percent. Not the best case – but no dialysis necessary yet so that was a bit of good news. Throughout this time dad had many visitors to the hospital – family, relatives, friends. He also accumulated a nice collection of candy, games and even electronics. By Wednesday he was feeling much better and his calcium levels had come back to normal. When I visited him that morning he was up and walking around. We waited to see if the doctors would let him leave the hospital finally – and when mom and I returned from lunch he was dressed. He was going home.


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