Thursday, October 24, 2013

First Post-Kalydeco Clinic

Today I had my regular CF clinic appointment, and tomorrow marks the 8th week I've been on Kalydeco. Of course I've been looking forward to this appointment pretty much since I started on Kalydeco just because I wanted to see (in numbers) the change that was happening with my weight and lung function. 

Overall, I haven't noticed a huge transformation in my lungs, but I have noticed that I'm starting to get my CF belly back a little bit, as well as some "love handles" - but then again I thought I was noticing these things the before my last appointment, in July, and I ended up losing a half pound, so I wasn't getting my hopes up today. Over the last eight weeks, I've coughed up a ton of mucus. There are days where I feel it's endless, but then there are days where I barely notice that I'm coughing at all. One thing that I have noticed though, is that when I am coughing this stuff out, it's from deep down in my lungs. I've coughed up some funky colored stuff over the past couple months, which I'm guessing was just old, deep mucus. 

As far as my weight and eating habits, I've started drinking two Ensure Plus's per day - one with breakfast (and my first K of the day) and one with lunch at work to replace those calories I'm burning while working. If I have both per day, that's an extra 700 calories and 24 grams of fat added to my already high-calorie and peanut butter-filled diet. Speaking of peanut butter, I've been on this crazy PB & J kick lately and I eat at least one or two pb&j sandwiches (or on toast) per day. 

So anyway, back to my appointment. Due to the changes I mentioned above, I was hoping that my weight would be at least 111 lbs (3 more pounds than what I weighed in July), and my FEV1 somewhere in the 80s. I knew that I shouldn't set my expectations too high 1)because I've only been on K for two months and 2) because I don't want to be disappointed in my body if I don't get those numbers because I've been feeling great and doing everything I'm supposed to do.

Of course I got to clinic early, and it was packed. At one point, there were at least 4 other CF patients in the waiting room -which is totally against proper infection control...but that's for another blog- (they weren't 'labeled', I just think that I have pretty good CF radar), and I was the only one wearing a mask! Either way, it was packed. So I kept myself occupied with my phone and my book for the hour or so that I waited to be called back to my own room. The first thing they do (usually) at my clinic is weight, vitals, PFTs, then I usually sit forever until a doctor or nurse comes in. Today, she weighed me first and I was a whopping 114.8!!! I totally said, "YES!" when I saw that on the scale, haha! That's up SIX pounds since July and I'm very comfortable with that. I think this is a good, healthy weight for me, but I'm not going to stop what I'm doing with the Ensures & pb&j's. A little extra weight wouldn't be a bad thing for me.

After being weighed, I went into my room and had my O2, blood pressure and temperature checked. My O2 was 97%, blood pressure was a little elevated and my temp was 99.3. She asked me if I was nervous, and I said no, I was just anxious to get my PFTs done and that I was a little hot (I was sweating!). Then I sat in the room, for probably 10-15 minutes before my new nurse came in. She introduced herslef and we chatted for a little bit. Then she asked me about my lung function, she sounded just as anxious about my results as I was, and I told her that I was still waiting to get my PFTs done. She was like, Oh man, let's get going on that! How exciting! Oh, but no pressure! Haha!

Finally the RT (the good one, Patti!) came in with the PFT machine. I pulled my hair back and stood up anxiously while she got the machine ready. She, too, was so excited for me to do my test because she wanted to see what my numbers looked like after being on Kalydeco. I did the first test, with her wonderful encouragement, and blew an FEV1 of 82% (5% higher than July!). Honestly, I was a little disappointed with that number, but I thought to myself at least it went up & it's in the 80s. So I did two more tests - the second test was 82 again, and the last was 80. So, my overall lung function as increased by 5% since July. Who can complain about that?? The best part - my small airway function...this is something that my doctor looked at a couple years ago and decided to put me on Advair to try to increase. And after being on Advair, my small airway function went up to 96% in August 2011. The over the next couple years, it followed this trend = 85, 88, 86, 78, and finally 72 in July. Today, my small airway function was 90%! That's an 18% increase!!! And I can feel that! When I take deep breaths, I'm not as wheezing and crackly as I've been in the past! :-)

My doctor is really looking forward to see what my cultures look like to see if the K is affecting that. She also mentioned that she's looking forward to seeing what happens at my next appointment and that maybe we can talk about backing off of anything....that would be fantastic, but we'll see - not getting my hopes up on that one. And finally, in another month, I'll get my liver enzymes checked to make sure that's reacting appropriately with the Kalydeco, too. Needless to say, everyone was very pleased with my results, including myself! For only being on Kalydeco for two months and to notice these changes already, really makes me happy! I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, plus I'm going to try to increase my exercise (I've been completely slacking) since that made a great impact on my lung can only go up from here, right?! :-)


  1. That is absoluteyl amazing! I'm curious about cultures with the new drugs too. and in regards to the weight and FEV = whoohoo! I know my weight will be up at clinic, but no clue on lungs. I've been compliant for 2 weeks. Which is the longest I have ever been able to keep up with.. So heres to hoping it will make a difference! Ps. The new GreatStrides Site is way easier for people to navigate. :-)

  2. What mutation(s) are you? Lovely to hear it's working for you, congrats!

    1. I have the G551D and currently my other mutation is "unknown".

  3. 5% increase? what were the actual #s? my doctor made a comment that when talking % depended on where the person based it on so Im a little confused about %'s. Did that make sense? lol I am so excited for you!! my daughter is dd508 and is on the combo trial. bc i cant discuss with others i love to at least keep up with results from K and then the phase 2 of the combo. My daughter is 17 and has generally only had problems with right upper lobe but at this time it is really giving her fits and antibiotics are not doing what that could. we have consulted 2 yrs ago about taking that lung out bc her cf doctor was really big on the idea but we went to houston and st louis and no one else would agree, but bc her functions are lower now and bc it continues to have problems we are doing a ct scan in dec to see if that should still be an option. Im on the fencse bc im not sure what the new meds will do for that spot. I know that it will not fix what is dammaged but unsure if it wil lessen the effects of it. any insite to your own story would be greatly appreciated