Tough germs

Well, well…well.

I mean, you try to be oh soooo careful whenever you set foot outside your house, especially during the flu season…For example:

  • you never go food shopping during peak times
  • you avoid seeing friends if they have the slightest sniffle
  • you never shake hands or kiss anyone, or, well, you try not to…

My “try to avoid getting sick” list goes on and on…I repeat, I try to be sooo careful. I always carry a little bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse, for emergencies, such as, well, let’s say that, due to social circumstances, I’ve been forced to shake hands with someone and can’t immediately rush off to find a bathroom and wash my hands, which wouldn’t be very courteous, would it? Sort of like, “Oh, such a pleasure to meet you…um, excuse me, where’s the bathroom?” Much more polite to turn my back discreetly ASAP and whip out the sanitizer, right? And certainly much better than saying, “Oh, please don’t take this personally. I don’t shake hands with anyone because I have smoldering multiple myeloma, and shaking hands with you might kill me.” Hmmm, I wonder what the reaction to that would be! I might try it someday…(just kidding!)

So yes, I try to be super careful, especially during the flu season, as I mentioned before.

But sometimes, in spite of all your precautions, the germs GET YOU anyway. And this time it wasn’t because of my passing next to a sneezing child in the supermarket.

This time it was an IN-HOUSE GERM ATTACK.

‘Fruity nose, hints of wild cherry, soothing & gelatinous on the palate, goes well with cough and cold.’

Last Friday Stefano came home from work with a sore throat. When he told me about the sore throat, my “GERM ALERT” alarm started blaring loudly, and I avoided touching or going near him all weekend, no hugs, nothing…well, duh, of course we sleep together…

But usually that works…keeping away from him, I mean.

Not this time.

This time the germs he’d picked up were a bunch of really TOUGH guys…

And those tough dudes MIGRATED OVER TO ME, where else?, over to the innocent nice gal with the teeny tiny immune system…

And so, while Stefano merely had what he called a “mild sore throat,” and in fact we had dinner out with friends on Saturday night, here’s what happened to me, starting on Sunday: I woke up with a TERRIBLE sore throat (which, luckily, disappeared within 24 hours…awful, I could barely swallow/talk).

By Sunday evening I had a TERRIBLE cough, ah yes, THAT cough, THE cough. Then fever, vom…well, yeah, that, too. What else? Oh, terrrrrrrible fatigue. I slept and slept and slept, propped up into a sitting position in bed because of THE cough.

Monday was the worst. Then, on Tuesday morning, I began thinking I’d survive. How did I know? My sense of humour came back. 😉

Anyway, since by now I recognize all the symptoms and am well aware that, with my compromised immune system, things can go downhill reaaaaaally fast, from a little sniffle to a full-blown cough within hours, I began taking an antibiotic, a strong one, on Sunday night (but that’s when I was still in vom… mode, so I don’t know how much antibiotic I managed to assimilate…sorry, trying not to be too gross, here!).

Yesterday, much much better: I didn’t have a fever, cough was better, etc. Today I’ve barely coughed at all!

So I’m officially convalescent now, taking it easy, just doing some light housework (laundry, dishes, etc.) but mostly resting, watching my TV series in bed, with various cat-nurses draped on and around me.

But a little while ago I got a call from Stefano (who wasn’t feeling that great this morning but had to go to work…), telling me that he feels terrible. It’s not just a  “mild” sore throat anymore. Sheeshhhhh. No idea how he’s going to be this evening, but it doesn’t sound good.

I told you those germs were TOUGH! Mamma mia! But…we’re going to smash ’em to smithereens…no worries.

Anyway, take care, everyone, and stay well!!! Stefano and I will, too! Ciao! 🙂

Ufbp1: a potential new target for multiple myeloma

Some interesting news this morning: for the first time, a group of researchers has reported on the essential role that a specific protein, called Ufbp1, plays in the development and function of plasma cells.

Now, we don’t really need to know all the complicated steps involved in this process…Here’s what’s relevant to us: when Ufbp1 becomes upregulated (that is, when there is too much of it),  the development process of plasma cells can go wacky and give rise to allergies, autoimmune diseases, and, tada!, multiple myeloma.

Therefore, if researchers can find a way to manipulate and control the expression of Ufbp1, they might be able to come up with new treatments for all these conditions.

Very interesting, indeed.

In this Science Daily article, the paragraph on multiple myeloma is the third from the bottom: http://goo.gl/zqP5dY

The full study is available for free at this link: http://goo.gl/2gspSe

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to read it today, the entire thing, I mean…but I thought that I’d go ahead and post about this discovery, which could, potentially!, have an impact on the field of myeloma treatments…not now, of course, but in the future…

As the SD article states, in fact, this discovery could lead to “the next generation of multiple myeloma treatments,” to which I would add, “preferably (!) a much less toxic generation compared to previous ones…”

Well, well. Fingers crossed…

Busybusybusy!!!

How did I let a month, well, almost a month go by without posting even something silly??? Dear me!!!

Thing is, I’ve been super busy, with a million and a half things to do, including some long overdue house improvement projects, which have been taking up a lot of my time, especially since Pandora, = one of the two incredibly adorable kittens we adopted about a year and a half ago, simply loves to, er, HELP me. She follows every move I make, and often intervenes. And so, thanks to her, a task that should ordinarily take only one hour to complete can take up to two hours…Of course, she’s such an entertaining little creature that it usually doesn’t matter…She does make me laugh! 

So yes, all is well, yes indeed, all is well. I have been, and AM, absolutely fine and dandy.

Now, before I go back to a task I must finish before Stefano gets home from work, I wanted to let you know that I hope you haven’t tried to get in touch with me using the blog’s “Contact” form. That form hasn’t been working for ages. There are, however, a couple of easy ways you can get in touch with me (if you don’t have my email address, I mean):

  • My blog’s Facebook page (just look for Margaret’s Corner, living with smoldering myeloma). Send me a private message there. I will respond as soon as possible, within a day or so, at the most, unless I am on holiday or without access to Internet for some reason.
  • You can also leave a comment on the blog…on any post, even an old one. If you wish your comment not to be published, just ask me not to approve it, although often that is quite clear to me, and I respect my readers’ privacy. That way, I (and only I!) will have your email address and can reply to you.

Okay, I think that’s about IT for now! I do hope everyone is doing well, VERY well!!! Take care! Ciaooooooo!!!  🙂