Friday, January 22, 2010


This past weekend my dad went to the optometrist to have his eyes checked. His eyes have been bothering him for awhile now, but we agreed to have it checked out after recovering from aSCT. He complained of blurry vision and the halo effect when he was exposed to lights. I was really scared because I instantly thought of glaucoma.

I think it is very important to have annual eye exams (or even more frequent) especially when you're on dexamethasone. Although dex has a great affect on myeloma cells, it also increases the eye pressure, which can causes cataracts and glaucoma. Cataracts is pretty normal as we age and it can usually be successfully treated with surgery, but glaucoma can result in permanent vision lost. There are no successful ways in treating glaucoma. There are eyedrops and surgery to slow down the progression of glaucoma, but there is no way to "fix" it. Also, symptoms of glaucoma usually become apparent when it is advanced, such as tunnel vision (lost of peripheral vision). It is hard to know if you have it since only an eye doctor can check the ocular pressure.

Please add an opthomalogist or optometrist to your fighting team!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


My dad received his stem cells back a week and half ago. Everything went well, except for the DMSO smell (stem cell preservative). I will never eat corn chowder again! We will wait for his cells to engraft and hope that it will help bounce back his platelets and rbcs. Couple of days ago, my parents went to the NP again. His m-protein results from a week ago remained the same. YAY! He also got some platelets and rbc.

Overall, my dad is doing well, he remains active! I love how he cooked and cared for me during my winter break. It feels extremely good to feel like a kid again. :) I love how he stole my Christmas present (a snuggie) from bf! I love how he made a big deal out of dinner whenever my bf came to visit. I love how he made the most delicious food because he feels that I am deprived of food at school. I love how he lectured me about having a irregular sleeping cycle. I love how he didn't understand that I am a college student and I do not have the luxury to sleep whenever I want. I love how he forced to eat lunch. Man, I feel like I am in high school again! I LOVE HIM! :)

And as for me, this is my second week back to school and it's already kicking my behind. I planned to attend the lymphoma and leukemia ASH recap conference, and I have company this year! Last year I went alone and it was pretty intimidating, especially since I went alone but nonetheless I had a great time.

Almost every year of college, thalidomide, is mentioned in at least one of my classes. Did you know they are studying the treatment of crohn’s disease (i think it's crohn's disease) with thalidomide? In developmental nutrition, the professor showed extensive pictures of birth deficits due to thalidomide. It seemed that thalidomide affected different disciples in different ways, but it all comes down to the 1960s newborns. In many European countries and Canada, many pregnant women used thalidomide for nausea and sleeping aid. Babies were born with shorten/disfigured limbs, so it was soon banned in the drug market.

It is pretty amazing how thalidomide changed the treatment of myeloma. Because of it, we have Revlimid and soon Actomid (pomilidomide) available. I believe things happen for a reason, we may experience set backs but in the end...everything will ok. We may not see it, but know somehow someway it will be alright. I know positive thinking maybe hard at times, especially when all you see is darkness. Who am I kidding, I am the most pessimistic person out there! In all honesty, I have gained so much from my dad's diagnosis, of course, I would prefer it not to happen, but I have to make sense of it in one way or another. It is what it is.