Back in January or there about, we changed to a different protocol as the previous one had ceased to work to control this damn disease. Protocols last about eight to ten months in my case. It is different for each person of course.
So we started on a new drug called Kyprolis, and the schedule is a beast. IV infusions twice a week on consecutive days along with my twenty mg of pill form dexamethzone (cortico-steroid) plus another 8mg of dexamethazone included in the IV. So 99mg of Kyprolis plus 56mg of dex each week.
Kyprolis is a cardiotoxin with some potentially nasty side effects. One of those side effects is hypertension. Oddly enough, there was little evidence of that in the first five months of treatment. Then it began showing up in July, just a little bit. I usually run 117/72 as my standard blood pressure. In July we saw it occasionally climb to around 123/83 or so; No big deal. Then suddenly August rolls around and…..
….125/95 started being a common reading. Thursday, I was in for my second weekly treatment and my blood pressure was 134/99. The systolic is not that bad in that reading, but diastolic at 99 is high. We decided to skip the Kyprolis and get me to a cardiologist asap. I went home.
Last eventing I was tired and strung out as usual with post chemo symptoms. And I was curious about this hypertension thing. I have a home blood pressure unit (all automatic and digital) which I have not had a real reason to use since my last bout with pneumonia back in Dec/Jan. I decided to break it out, put in new batteries and track my blood pressure as long as I couldn’t sleep anyway. The first reading was pretty much what I had when I left the clinic yesterday morning. The second reading was 153/104, followed by 185/112.
That prompted me to get on line and chat with the nurse on duty at the clinic. No symptoms of any note, so we set up an appointment for this morning at 07:45. Some review of history and an EKG later, it was decided I should go on a low dose of BP medicine for the immediate future and see what develops. The hypertension is clearly a side effect of the chemo.
Tonight the BP is 135/92. Not good, but not as bad either… . My hope is that I can get enrolled in a phase 2 clinical study at Mayo based on CAR T tech. Basically modified white blood cells. Assuming I live through the 1st 7 days, I would probably not have to do this twice a week chemo protocol for up to 24 months! Would that be a nice break. More on that later. I am tired, only four hours sleep in the last 72…