Hip surgery

Well, yes, I’m having hip surgery in late September. The test results from my recent MRI and X-ray showed that the coxarthrosis is getting worse…fast. But we have holiday plans for two weeks in August, and nothing is getting in the way of those. So…September.

Today I made appointments for heaps (or hips, hehe) of pre-surgery tests and exams. I will be meeting with the surgeon and his team in early September…I suppose, since I’ve never had surgery before, that I should view this as an interesting experience, one that I could certainly have done without…but…oh well…

This is what I know thus far: I will be up and walking the day of the surgery (no kidding). My surgeon does what is called Fast-Track surgery, which lessens the patient’s recovery time as well as a bunch of surgery-related risks. I will also be awake during the procedure (note to myself: get some good headphones!), which is a great relief to me, again because of faster recovery issues.

If all goes well, I should be home within a few days. Because of Covid restrictions, Stefano won’t be able to visit me, even though we are both fully vaccinated, so the sooner I am able to go home, the better. We don’t like to be apart! Anyway, in early September I will know more about what I’m facing, and you can be sure that by then I will have prepared a long list of questions for the surgical team. 🙂

The only thing that worries me is the risk of post-op infections due to my impaired immune system. And because curcumin is a blood thinner, I’m going to have to stop my intake before surgery…so curcumin, which kills viruses and bacteria, won’t help with preventing any possible infections. That’s a bummer.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be fine.

Oh wait…Another thing that worries me is that I might end up looking like the horse in this Far Side cartoon (sorry, couldn’t help myself…love the Far Side…hehe)…

For now, though, I’m concentrating on our upcoming holiday.

Take care, everyone!

TAB’s July 2021 update

TAB wrote his update as a comment to the post I wrote about him back in 2012, but I decided that this update should be turned into a post, as follows…

TAB’s Update 7/9/2021
Smoldering 20 years, progression 2 years, Velcade for 4 months = complete remission.
My journey with IgA Lambda Multiple Myeloma has been a long one. At age 80 I am finally in complete remission. During the first 20 years I took only over the counter supplements which in my opinion kept the beast at bay. I plotted the results of my blood tests using Excel and relied on the trend lines to keep track of how I was doing. After a few years of supplements my M-spike leveled off and then started decreasing. This was not a cure by any means but it seemed to keep the beast at bay for 20 years with no CRAB symptoms. Then something caused the M-spike to progress from about 3000 mg/dl to almost 6000. A bone marrow biopsy showed 60%. Some results were approaching CRAB levels. At this point is was a no brainer, I had to consider treatment for overt MM. I discussed my options with by Oncologist and we decided on VRD (Velcade, Revlimid and Dexamethasone). Due to the high cost of Revlimid we (mostly me) decided to do the Velcade SQ and Dex (20 mg) only. After 15 Velcade subcutaneous injections in the tummy and 20 mg of DEX once per week over a 4 month period my blood work showed a remarkable return to normal levels. The only side effects were mild peripheral neuropathy (tingling sensation) in my toes. My latest blood work (7/9/2021) 5 months post Velcade treatments included : CBC, Platelet Count, Serum Electrophoresis, Beta-2 Microglobulin, Immunoglobulins (IgA, IgG and IgM), Complete Metabolic Profile, Kappa /Lambda serum Light Chains and Serum Immunofixation. A copy is included in my report. Of all of these tests only one test was flagged low and that was IgM. I have never had a blood test this good in my entire life! The most important result was the Immunofixation test showing “no monoclonals present”. This is according to my doctor a very sensitive test. My doctors conclusion, and I quote, “You are in complete remission and I tell my myeloma patients about your results”! I am back on my supplements which I am hoping will keep me in remission as long as possible. Of course there are no guarantees. My next blood work is in 4 months. I have documented all of my blood work and my supplement regimen in my latest report. If anyone would like a copy of my report they can E-mail me at tabbat41@hotmail.com. Best of luck to all fellow MM’s. TAB

Surgery? Probably…

On Monday I’m going to have a few more tests for my coxarthrosis, including an MRI. Then the orthopaedic surgeon and I will decide what the next step will be, probably surgery (this fall). Luckily for me, I am in the hands of one of the best, if not THE best, surgeon in the Florence area. Super nice guy, to boot, very approachable…

So today I’m reaching out to my blog readers with MM, SMM, MGUS: have you had hip replacement surgery?

If so, then please please PLEASE leave me a comment here or on Facebook, or send me an email or a message via the blog’s Contact form…I would be extremely grateful to hear about your experiences.

In particular, I’d be curious to know how you prepared for surgery: did you have any special tests done? How (long) was your post-surgery recovery time…Hmmm, yes, things like that. Thanks a lot!

A bit of newsy news: this weekend I’ll be entering a new decade…I’m turning 60. WOW!!! That means that I’ve been living with SMM for more than 16 years…SIXTEEN YEARS!!! And, if we add MGUS to the mix, that number goes up to 22 years.

Who’d have thought? Potter, 7 kilos of happiness

And, apart from this coxarthrosis business, which is a bit bothersome, I admit, but, I repeat, totally unconnected to the MM, I’m doing well, very well. Stefano and I are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have our Green Pass, but we still wear our masks whenever we leave the house. Better be safe than sorry!

Speaking of leaving the house, we will soon be off on holiday, visiting three of the most beautiful lakes in northern Italy. A relaxing holiday, just what we both need. Perfect!

Take care, everyone! 🙂

P.S. The photo shows our Potter who now weighs 7 kilos…A big bundle of joy!