Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quick update with good news from my labs last week

Most importantly, serum immunofixation is back to:  "No monoclonal proteins detected."  Complete remission.  Phew!  I am prepared to chalk up the previous reading to residual noise that is being eliminated through VRD for another 28 months or so.

After a week off Revlimid, I guess I expected my counts to recover more than they did.  Whites remain at 4.2, which isn't horrible but is a bit on the low side.  HGB is 13.  Again, not horrible, but a bit on the low side.  Platelets are 108.  These are pretty darn low, but previous experience indicates that they usually recover with a bit of lag -- that is, after the first week back on Revlimid they usually go up.

When the deal I am running right now subsides (it should do so this week, although I've been thinking / hoping / praying that would be the case every day for two weeks now) I will hopefully have time to blog more regularly and put some data up.  I would think that those in maintenance (or induction, depending on protocol) using VRD would be interested to see these counts over time.

I go back to Arkansas in two weeks for the Full Monty of tests: PET, MRI, bone marrow, bloodwork.  I may even submit to a gene array (more marrow pulled out) but I might wait until their own data there shows that I no longer have any monoclonal protein.  Right now, they have the hedged version of that: monoclonal protein might exists but we can't find it.  This is still complete remission, but I want stringest complete remission / molecular remission, dammit!   And once that happens, I did promise BB and BJ that they could do another gene array on me.  So...I guess that will be a good problem to have!

I am quite tired these days...some of it is probably the ungodly hours (literally 18 hours a day, 7 days a week for the past month) and some of it is the drugs.  I also notice that my muscles deteriorate.  I haven't had time to run; when I did, I was winded pretty quickly but I will try to pick that back up.  But in the morning in bed, if I try to even do a good stretch, my calves instantly cramp up.  It's quite unpleasant and a bit disconcerting.

That said, I am managing stress VERY differently than I used to.  I used to run around in a panic and I would have this desparate, pit-of-the-stomach dread that would rise up with some regularity when I was under the gun.  Now, I nip that in the bud.  When the workplace is unreasonable, I refuse to let it drive me crazy.   As a result, there have only been two days in the past month where I've really felt stressed out.  It used to be more like three days a week like that.  So my post-cancer self is managing this a bit better -- which is critical as I'm pretty sure that stress is what gave me the cancer in the first place.

And otherwise, I feel good! 

I might also add that the testosterone shot that I got in the ol' gluteus maximus hurt like a sonofabiscuit for about three days.  The other shots were painless -- this one felt like deep bone pain, almost (although I know it was muscles and not bone).

Hope you are all well!

9 comments:

  1. I just found your blog and think it's wonderful. My mother has MM, and before her diagnosis in Jan 2010, I had never heard of it. In fact, no one in our family has ever had cancer. I find your blog, and the others I'm finding, to be quite helpful in navigating these unchartered waters.

    Best to you!

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  2. Thank you, Ali Cat! Please feel free to email me -- or have your mother do so -- with any questions you might have. I would love to be helpful or a resource to you in any way.

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  3. sounds like things are right on track for you. I wish I could get into remission!! I am running low on blood/ platelets/ energy and its getting old. So many things to do, no ability to do them ...

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  4. Hi Nick...great news about your labs. I sent you an e-mail last week after my appt. in Little Rock. All good news. I also met Sean there which was awesome to say the least. My last three gene arrays could not be performed due to a lack of myeloma cells! I was high risk when dx seven years ago. You are doing awesome! Talk soon..Linda

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  5. Nick...I WISH my WBC was as high as yours! Mine hovers right around 1.7 with ANC less than 500! I have not had a cold or been ill in over a year even though I have travelled in South America, been on a cruise ship, and fly frequently! Talk soon...Linda

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  6. Great labs!! I totally agree about the stress thing. Since getting MM I've letting those off stress triggers go someplace else! I feel better and the blood pressure is down. Keep up the good work and try to reduce the long work hours.

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  7. Sounds all very good reading here, we are so pleased. Think you may have something about the stress causing MM looking back on my poor rather overworked husband - but he always seemed to love it so, but I knew it was extreme sometimes.
    Every best wish to you and yours.

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  8. What good news! We're glad to read it.

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  9. I like the direction your posts are going AND the perspective on work stress.

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