## Wednesday, September 9, 2009

### 9-9-9

I see patterns in numbers. I can't help it. It appears to be some kind of innate reflex. In second grade my principal, Mr. Moulie, would find me walking in the corridor and slip me a piece of paper with a row of numbers and blanks. I would then find the pattern, something like 2x+1 and return it to him. He never told me that I was doing Algebra; it was just a fun game for a seven year old. In every row of numbers I see I will look for arithmetic and symmetric relationships. It helps me to remember them.
Nines are really cool because any number divisible by nine, when the digits composing the number are summed, ultimately result in nine. (each multiple digit answer must also be summed).
So today is an interesting day.
In China, nines are considered lucky, however, in Japan, the opposite is true. Today in surgery I was wearing a cap made by my partner, Dr Takahashi. She made it for me when I was bald after the bone marrow transplant. The Japanese characters in the fabric represent good health and prosperity. However, the number nine in Japan is considered bad luck. Oh, those opposing forces at work on such a day. The number nine in Japanese is a homonym with the word for suffering.
Generally, I am seen as a lucky guy. Today the nurse from the cardiology clinic called to say that my heart biopsy showed moderate rejection. this would be considered unlucky and/or suffering. The pathology report listed me as a 2R/3a. The last time I showed this level of rejection was the last time I took Revlimid in October 2008. What makes this quite troubling is the realization that Revlimid is the only treatment that has actually improved my amyloidosis. Yet with it, I seem to go into heart rejection and, without it, my disease would progress and ultimately damage my heart. I am between a rock and a hard spot without a Holmium laser. Now these concerns may only be theoretical, since originally there was some doubt as to the causality of my previous rejection with respect to Revlimid. The next step will be poorly founded in real science and be based on experience, intuition and educated guessing on the part of my doctors and me. We will aspire to a new homeostasis (my word for the weak).
I am now on solumedrol (the zombie/statue drug) 500 mg.
Let's play with the numbers. Normally I take prednisone 5mg every day. this is equivalent to 25 mg of cortisone, the basic steroid dose.
This morning I took 40 mg of decadron(dexamethasone) equivalent to 267 mg of prednisone or 1333 mg of cortisone. This afternoon I received 500 mg of Solumedrol I.V. This is equivalent to 625 mg of Prednisone or 2500 mg of cortisone. For a grand total today of 892 mg of prednisone today or 178.4 times my usual daily dose. I will be wired tonight. I should see if the San Francisco Giants want to hire me. If anyone has any questions tonight at 3 AM, call me, I'll be up.

We will find a plan and a new homeostasis. That much I am sure of.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

ewwww i hate that stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry kev you gotta take it!!!

and its 1:43 and im up everynight till 2-3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crazy but my donor mom said Angelina up all night and sleep all day

That is pretty much me now.

Tip

Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin, I'm with you too! Up at two and back to sleep at four. Feel tired all day. Decadron does it to me. Today I'm crashing and feel really sore. Hopefully it only lasts a few days and back to normal. I'm hoping the Revlind is not the problem because if my current treatment plan of Velcade and Decadron doesn't work to reduce my numbers I want to try Revlind. You have been taking it for so long. Why a moderate rejection now? Must be something else going on and hopefully not serious. Take care of yourself and rest your body. It's telling you something. Love, Debbie

Aunt Renie said...

"homeostasis (my word for the weak)"? Au contrair - you are anything but weak!
Re new drugs, new doses, frequent tests .... ever feel like a guinea pig?
We had quite a scare/false alarm over the 'weakend' - turned out the Lambda Light Chain tests were highly elevated for all 9 of Dr. Azar's patients this month.... She's decided it's the test, not the cancer that is behaving badly.
We are reminded that luck is on a gradient, and we are blessed and thankful for every bit of ours.
Best wishes & many prayers that the new cocktail combo works.
P.S. have you considered working nights when on dex?

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is hard news to swallow! Hang in there Kevin! We love you!
Rachelle

Anonymous said...

Kevin

Thanks for the info on amyloidosis I know little about this but have been resurching every chance I get. My Freind, coworker and who i went to school with has this. He is 39 and had his gaulblader removed about 8 weeks ago and the doctor noticed large liver and took byopsy. last week he was at UAB Birmingham Al and verry week they sent him home to take 30 tables a day starting last Friday around over the weekend his kidneys shut down and went into cardiak arest and was rushed back to UAB Birmingham Al. He has Been on the breathing machine since. Thursday 9/10 was the best day this week his brother said. Todd was alert and writting notes. we just all hope and pray they will find out what to do for him. Thanks again for your info and hope you have a good day today.
Tony Thomaston
tonyt@kelleyfoods.com

Aunt Renie said...

I love 9s, too. They are my favorite 'trick' to teach elementary children. It helps them see other patterns as well.
It's been a week since your last blog. No news is good news?
love, Aunt Renie