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!