When I was having my melphalan, Maggie the nurse administering it, was asking about bone pain and did I get any. Apparently after SCT Myeloma patients had reported that they got less pain. Now I was down to a bit of a niggle from my collapsed vertebra (L3) apart from when I sat on our settee, and first thing in a morning, none really from my damaged ribs and none from the lytic lesion in my right thigh. Although my acupuncturist says I have a high pain threshold.
Now for the woe is me bit – I only impart this information for loads of sympathy, er no, I mean to show how much things have improved.
Prior to diagnosis in April 09 I couldn’t walk very far, was in more or less constant pain, not so much from the location of the vertebra itself but it was pressing on a nerve so it was mainly down my buttock and thigh (some of which was numb). I couldn’t sleep through a night with the pain. I couldn’t sit upright in a chair without it really kicking off. Sometimes it felt like my knee cap was being pulled up my thigh. B had to help sometimes with my shoes. I didn’t think I would ever be as mobile and pain free as I am now and would just have been grateful for any improvement.
At one point if I was lying down with my knees bent I couldn’t lift my bum up off the floor (a test by the first physio the previous November). Apparently when the big muscles are in pain for a long time the little muscles take over but because they are not designed for this type of work they give out quickly. At this point my feet may as well have been on the moon unless I lay down and brought my knees to my chest – which let’s face it isn’t the position to be putting shoes on in, although did work for socks in a morning. Here’s a tip you don’t get told medically – if you’re having trouble bending put your trousers on first and then your socks otherwise your socks stick on the way down the leg and it takes even longer to get dressed or wear a loose skirt but obviously that’s not for everyone!
However since my SCT the discomfort I had been getting has lessened even more, it’s more like stiffness. I have yoga-ed twice and am still limited in flexibility for any move that requires me to bend forward in a seated position (if that makes sense) but where that had caused me noticeable discomfort before it doesn’t now. I can feel it but it’s certainly not painful. I know it’s really soon after my SCT and it may ‘just’ be the continuing improvements. When I saw the prof last November at the start of the SCT process he did say that the discomfort I felt then would probably remain the same but it has got easier.
I do get the occasional odd sensation in my feet in certain positions but nothing to write home about.
A good few years ago I decided that I always wanted to be able to do a handstand as a kind of test of youthfulness I guess. So on Thursday I suddenly remembered this and gave it a go (as you do when you have a collapsed vertebra and a dodgy area of bone in your right femur that shouldn’t be jarred or subjected to a fall). I could feel it a bit on the way down, which was controlled, I fortunately did not end up in a heap on the floor, but I think this was more a protest from the inflexible bit. B was in bed at the time and because I tell him everything (even finally confessing that I’d left the car unlocked on a public car park) I informed him of my handstanding prowess when he woke up.
B: ‘Was that wise?’
Me: ‘Probably not, but I can still do it!’