Saturday, September 7, 2013

An update: the good, the bad, and the ugly...

Clint Eastwood:

* My MRD test (the most sensitive marrow test they have) tested more than twice as many cells as last time, owing to a better marrow sample.  With around 3.5 million cells tested, not a single myeloma cell.  From this part of my hip, at least, there is no disease remaining.

Lee Van Cleef:

* My bloodwork under Immunofixation says "the original IgG Lambda M Protein may be present.  An in distinct monoclonal band is present in the lambda region.".  This COULD, I am told, just be the product of recovering marrow.  Of course it is also what it would look like should the disease return.

* My T4 thyroid count is very low.  Not sure what this means but it requires more testing.  T3 is normal but on the lower end of the normal range.  T4 has dropped significantly.

* My marrow, while negative for myeloma and MDS, is reported as having a "significant hematologist abnormality" called a "small lymphoid aggregate.". BJ told me not to worry about this but anything that is a significant abnormality seems definitionally to be something to worry about.  I don't yet know what it means although initial research indicates it may be present in up to 60 percent of the general population so I will see what I can learn.

Eli Wallach:

* The lesions in my spine and hip are unchanged.  As they haven't made any move towards further resolution in two years, BB wants to stick needles into each of them and test the marrow from those spots.  I suppose if they are all MRD negative, he might say I am cured regardless of the fact that they persist, but I don't know as he was running so late I didn't get to speak with him directly about this.

That means a return visit to Arkansas for more bone marrow biopsies sometime soon.

I am tired of this -- and yet mindful that many others with this disease have it far worse than do I.

On balance, then, I probably don't feel as crestfallen as Eli Wallach did when his agent called and said "they're considering you for a movie called 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'...the good and the bad parts are taken."