28 February 2011
This week I was back under the care of UAMS and CARTI. On Tuesday I had a follow-up visit with Dr. Gardner, my radiologist. All is good, my skin irritation from the radiation treatment has almost totally healed, so I was officially released from CARTI’s care. While I love all the folks at CARTI, I am most pleased to be discharged and hopeful that I will never have to return.
On Friday I was in touch with my oncologist who called with the results of my blood work from last week – and it’s still not good. Vitamin D levels continue to be a challenge for this cancer-stricken body.
For many years, most of us received adequate vitamin D levels by drinking milk, a dose of exposure to the sun, and possibly taking a multi-vitamin each day. However, new research revels that most of us, as many as 85%, are vitamin D deficient.
What is it that makes vitamin D so important? In a nutshell, the big D gives each of us a better chance of preventing many major illnesses including cancer. Other diseases – heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, chronic pain, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, premenstrual syndrome, muscular weakness, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and autoimmune Illness
I’m anxious to get this D-train on track as I’m a patient-in-waiting for Reclast, a once-a-year infusion to help correct the osteoporosis, a result of the chemotherapy. Pain in my bones remains, especially the legs, even though bone density tests show I’ve suffered bone loss in my hips and lower back too. They don’t bother me – the legs do, however. Reclast has been billed as the new wonder drug for legs like mine, supposedly the answer to get back them feeling better and stronger. But Reclast will not properly absorb into the bones unless the body has sufficient vitamin D levels. That means my bones still hurt while I await for the this dang vitamin to do it’s job.
Compound all of this with the fact that a deficiency of vitamin D or an inability to utilize vitamin D leads to further weakening and softening of the bones, which equals MORE bone pain.
Goodbye Cancer! Hello chronic bone pain!
Let me put this dilemma into more of a medical perspective. Most people who take a vitamin D supplement consume 1,000, maybe 2,000 units a day. For me, I’ve been taking 50,000 units each week, every Monday, and my vitamin D levels are still terribly low. So as of Friday, the good doctor has bumped me up to 100,000 units a week for the next two months. And yes, there are side-effects from taking such a large dose of vitamin D.
Waiting, waiting, waiting. . . . I don’t do this very well, and I’m ready to get my bones back to normal.
HAVE YOU HAD YOUR VITAMIN D LEVELS CHECKED LATELY? If not, get it done. Call the doctor this week! Take care of yourself.
Posted by Stacy Sells at 8:37 AM