We’re heading back to Arkansas next week to have kyphoplasty performed on my back. The neurosurgeon there says he could work on 7-8 vertabrae and that he felt he could have significant impact on my pain, posture and height.
I was supposed to go in for kyphoplasty Wednesday morning here in San Antonio. The neurosurgeon here had identified one vertabrae that he thought could be treated, and he thought that might relieve some pain, give me back 1/4-1/2 inches in height and could help my overall posture.
The local surgeon has done quite a few kyphoplasty procedures, but he has mostly worked on older women with osteoporosis.
The guy in Little Rock works with the Myeloma clinic and has done thousands of kyphoplasty procedures. Little Rock has a reputation of being somewhat aggressive, but I think it’s worth the shot if he’s able to have a significant impact on my condition.
Here’s a link to a very informative animation about Kyphoplasty.
On the treatment front, we are still considering Little Rock and Texas Transplant Institute here in San Antonio. Concerns we had with Little Rock are that their support staff has not been very supportive, either when we were in the clinic or when we’ve tried to get information over the phone or through email. Also, we’ve read more about the treatment plan used in Little Rock, and we have some concerns about the volume of medicines being too toxic and too aggressive. With TTI, we were initially concerned that he was including the allogeniac transplant (using outside donor) as a key part of the treatment plan. We spoke with the Dr. on the Monday before Christmas, and he changed his approach, going with two autologus transplants (using my own cells), which was good. However, we just feel that the Dr. isn’t really a Myeloma specialist, and he’s not really as passionate or well-versed about the latest and greatest treatments available.
So a new possibility has come onto the scene. Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. The doctors running it came to Utah 2 years ago from Little Rock, and the facility is brand new. They have the same basic treatment plans and protocols, but they have tweaked them to make them less toxic. And the staff has been great about calling us and emailing us back right away. So we’re giving it careful consideration to Huntsman. The bright side … we’d be guaranteed to see some snow.
On the physical front, I’m feeling OK these days. Having some headaches that noone can really explain, and I’m feeling a little more back pain. I went in for Chemo Tuesday, my oncologist felt I needed a couple of injections (another one this Friday) since I haven’t had any chemo since Nov. 21. Just maintenance, but she didn’t want to allow the myeloma to get any momentum.