Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The small magnesium pills...

...no longer are any easier to tolerate than the larger ones.  It's hard to get a decent night's sleep these days.  And yet, I suspect it's been at least two months since I had one of those horrible cramps so this is a small price to pay.

I have noticed, meanwhile (knock on wood) that it's been a while since I've had bronchitis.  My IgG remains suppressed, per the plan.  IgM is very slow to recover, seemingly, from the transplants.  It's been below 26, which is the low end of the test, for a year.  Whether it is 2 or 25, I'm not sure.  As for IgA, this has steadily gone up from transplants and is now in the low-normal range.  I will be graphing this shortly, along with a few other key graphs, as further information for those post-transplant.

Feeling good, other than tired.  All else goes according to plan.

Friday, October 15, 2010

No more CYA from Arkansas...

I needed to get a copy of my bloodwork today to get my prescription for Lipitor renewed.  Don't know if this is ironic in the proper sense of that word, but it does obviously remind me that my desire to avoid blood testing for any purposes, and my primary care doctor's insistence that I get it done before renewing Lipitor, is what led to my diagnosis two years ago right around this time.

At any rate, I got my information from Arkansas.  I've looked at at least ten different immunofixation reports from Arkansas since I achieved complete remission.  Each one first says there is no monoclonal protein under serum photoelectrophoresis, which is the less sensitive test.  They read "M protein cannot be detected in this specimen at the level of sensitivity of [this test]."  That's been that way for a while now.

Then we get to immunofixation, which is the more sensitive test -- in fact, the most sensitive one per BB, since he thinks immunofluorescence is wildly prone to error (in both false positive and false negatives).

Normally, the Arkansas text reads something like "The original M protein cannot be detected but may or may not be present.  Faint monoclonal bands are observed.  Indistinct IgG kappa bands are present."  I have consistently been told that the indistinct kappa bands are a sign of recovering marrow and deep remission, and that the reference to the "may or may not" is mostly a CYA type of thing.

This most recent report, however is more definitive:

"The original IgG lamba M-Protein does not appear present.  Indistinct IgG kappa bands present."

Things will continue to bounce around, but that is the most definitive statement I've seen that there's nothing there!  Good news...enough to take my mind off the minor tingling in my feet.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where has the time gone??? Also, 4 is better than 2 + 2.

Sorry to have vanished here, folks.  Work flared up and I also found myself traveling to London for about a week, which was delightful other than the fact that I found myself working my normal 12 hour day on London time, followed by demanding calls from my boss in California that had me at it another 6 hours or so.  It was a pretty rough stretch but I did manage to see some friends, have some nice meals, and walk around one of my favorite cities.  The weather was great -- about 65 degrees (fahrenheit) and mostly sunny.

Anyhow, I'm back now, and will try to contribute with a bit more regularity!

I did want to point out that I made the switch -- inadvertently, due to running out of the large 500mg pills -- to 250mg pills of magnesium.  I take four of these, rather than two of the big ones.  They're the size of a plain ol' vitamin C pill versus the horse pills that are the 500mg versions.

The results on the GI tract appear to be a bit less extreme than the 500mg versions, so that's a good discovery and something to keep in mind.

In mojo news, I endured a particularly painful shot of testosterone in the gluteus maximus that stung like a mofo (not to be confused with mojo) for about ten days.  I had the residual ache from the bone marrow on the left side, and the sting from the shot (a first, after five months of no-big-dealness) on the right.  I felt like I needed one of those inflatable butt cushions to sit on.  The bigger issue was sleeping -- couldn't lie down on either side or roll over at all without it hurting.

Fortunately, it went away.  But today I have to go see the urologist again for another shot.  Even worse, I have to consult with him since its been six months.  "Consult with urologist" is a polite way of saying something probative (in the biological sense) is probably going to happen.  Gulp.

I also have purchased, but not yet taken, this Maca root stuff.  I'll ask the doctor about that today and hope to dissuade him from other aspects of the exam.