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.