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!


  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!

  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.

  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 ...

  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

  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

  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.

  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.

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

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

  10. After the administration of conventional oral glutathione canada, the concentrations of glutathione in plasma did not increase substantially, recommending that the systemic Bioavailability of glutathione is minimal in people.