Thursday, July 19, 2007

Good X-Ray Report

At my last doctor visit I mentioned a slight ache in my left upper arm, and the oncologist ordered an x-ray just to rule out a plasmacytoma, which can surprise any myeloma patient at any time. The results are in: NO PROBLEM. That's a relief, and it helps with another decision.

I have a tooth that's rather iffy - hemi-section and root canal years ago, and now starting to get weak at the root. My dentist has suggested it's time to take it out. No pain, though, and no relation to myeloma.

EXCEPT: myeloma attacks bones, and that usually requires treatment by bisphosphonate drugs such as Aredia (pamidronate) or Zometa (zoledronic acid). These are the heavy-duty cousins of Fosamax (alendronate) and similar drugs used to treat osteoporosis. Aredia and Zometa can help rebuild the myeloma-weakened bones, but they can also cause a serious side effect called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), a very unpleasant and somewhat dangerous condition. ONJ often starts when a person taking Zometa or Aredia has dental surgery.

I've been holding off the removal of that bad tooth while waiting for these x-ray results. If the x-ray had disclosed a problem in the bone, I would have been headed for heavy-duty bisphosphonate treatment and would not want an open hole in my jaw. But with this all-clear signal, I'm going to get that sucker out and get the jaw healed right away.

Hearty dinner
Free-range bison, no-hormone no-antibiotic beef, organic sweet potato, organic carrots, onion, organic catsup. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 6.

Next-day's lunch:
Lunch of leftovers
"Take and Bake" organic honey whole grain bread, cold roast free-range bison and anti-biotic-free hormone-free beef, organic bread and butter pickles, organic nectarine, organic cashews. Estimated Weight Watcher points = 7.

Busy bee on the Garden Tour.
Bee on duty

1 comment:

  1. Dear Don,
    I'm happy you're doing so well! Lots of support for you from Florence.

    Take care,