Monday, March 3, 2008

Mayo Clinic, Day 1

I like Doctor Lacy. No nonsense, but caring and not authoritarian. Some of the things that we discussed:
  • My history with myeloma, from my own perspective. She said that she takes it in best that way,
  • My lifestyle, especially my interest in running. She is a runner too,
  • All of my previous test results, of course (I showed her some of my charts),
  • The fact that I have no apparent C.R.A.B. symptoms yet (far from it),
  • The possibility of getting into a Celebrex trial (I brought it up, but she did not dismiss the idea),
  • Possible stem cell collection,
  • The difference between treating symptoms and treating numbers, and
  • Additional tests which Mayo can do, including
    • Another bone-marrow biopsy; the last one was a year ago,
    • FISH studies on the bone-marrow aspirate, and
    • A PET scan to look for hot spots in my bones.
Most of that was done today, actually. Things seem so easy at Mayo. I was most impressed by the bone-marrow biopsy. My previous biopsies were done in a hospital, and required check-in, gowning, and a long wait afterward before I was allowed to sit and then stand. It seemed like a major deal.

In contrast, at Mayo I walked into the procedure room, disrobed only enough to expose my hip, and was walking out within 20 minutes. Didn't even have to take of my shoes! These guys checked the aspirate with a microscope right then and there, to be sure they got what they needed. It was easily the least-painful BMB of the four I've had. I think it's the difference between doing a procedure occasionally, and doing it all day long. One trick: the person doing the procedure applied pressure to the incision afterward until he was VERY SURE that the bleeding had stopped completely. I don't recall anyone doing it quite that way before. And because he did that, there is still no trace of red on the bandage now, hours after walking the hallways of Mayo and then driving the 90 miles home.

Further tests are scheduled for later in the week.

Finally, toward the end of the week, I have another appointment with Dr. Lacy. In my best, most hopeful scenario, she will tell me that the PET scan shows no lesions, that my particular myeloma is not as aggressive as most, that my numbers are stable, and that watchful waiting is a reasonable choice. If so, I will choose it! If she does recommend treatment, we will discuss the risks of different treatments, including the risk of postponing.

Recent breakfast: Organic oatmeal (under there somewhere), Don's berry/nut/fruit mix, fresh mango, organic blueberries, banana, Hershey's dark chocolate, organic nonfat milk.

Recent lunch: Sunshine's gluten-free lasagna with brown rice pasta, organic spinach, organic ricotta cheese, organic pasta sauce, and organic yogurt, orange, organic apple.

Dinner salad
Recent dinner (salad): Organic romaine, fresh mango, toasted sunflower seeds, avocado, dragon fruit, organic cottage cheese, organic red wine vinegar.


  1. We like Dr. Lacy as well. She's a huge Broncos fan, she's from Denver. She and Richard always have a football discussion.

    Good luck with all of your testing.


  2. Very nice relate Don, I'm sure your PET is as clean as white paper. I'm going to have a PET scan myself later this week...
    What I get from your post is a wonderful sense of calm, the idea that someone is taking care of you at the highest scientific standard available. Nice feeling.
    I wish you all the best, super good luck!