Pat Killingsworth Pat Killingsworth

News and views that you might have missed over the holiday…

Last Wednesday, Californian Lori Puente stopped-in to visit our Nature Coast (Florida) Multiple Myeloma Support Group meeting and Christmas party.

Her husband, Dave (the patient), was unable to attend because he was fighting a cold.

Lori writes an excellent caregivers blog called Riding The Wave.  She is a tireless advocate for the UAMS/Arkansas myeloma treatment program, where Dave is treated.

I asked if she would say a few words at the start of the meeting.  40 minutes later, our members were still asking questions.  Her story was both instructional and inspiring.

Her visit was much appreciated and I highly recommend you visit her site sometime soon.

Lori wrote a detailed post about her visit the next day:

Another Myeloma Meet-Up!

Thanks for taking the time to share your family’s story with us, Lori!

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On another completely unrelated note, there was an important story on the front page of our local St. Petersburg Times yesterday morning.

Seems a powerful new painkiller, described as “a timed release drug that is a pure form of hydrocodone.”  Manufactured by a company a San Diego company, this new drug, trade name Zohydro, is intended “for managing moderate to severe pain.”

This should be good news for the millions of chronic pain sufferers (like me and many of my readers) who live trying to manage pain 24/7.

Instead, the entire article is negative, focusing on potential misuse of the new drug.  Even the headline was negative:  Powerful painkiller has experts worried.

April Rovero, president of the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse, is quoted as saying

“We just don’t need this on the market.”

Some state officials are pushing hard to restrict or even ban oxycodone here.  As a regular and responsible user of oxycodone, I would like to ask people like April Rovero:  Are you in constant pain?  Do you have bone marrow cancer?  What would you like those of us in chronic pain do, take aspirin and stay in bed?

It isn’t our fault these drugs are abused and misused.  Don’t try and take away my oxy!

Now that was a dexamethasone sponsored rant!  Sorry!  Today is a “dex day.”  Up early, so not much sleep–and a whole lot of misplaced, anxious energy.

I’m going to post a series of articles about dexamethasone sometime soon.

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And what about ASH?  Let’s put it this way.  I haven’t even started to wade-through and review the 700+ ASH related abstracts which are all housed on a jump/flash drive I brought back from San Diego.

I will share this bit of positive news:  There are several pre-clinical (yet to be tested on patients) studies that look more than promising!

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I drove the hour down to Moffitt Cancer Center yesterday for my monthly blood draw to test my M-protein levels.  I’m hoping that this month’s SPEP test results will continue last month’s downward trend of my M-spike.  I should have the results late Friday afternoon–unless the pathologist who interprets the tests has the holiday week off.  Then I will need to wait until next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Wish me luck!

That’s enough for today.  Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat