Alive for Another Month

Thursday, January 10, 2013:

Well, that title is a bit over-dramatic. But it is how I feel, every month when the results come in and the cancer is still stable. The study drug pomalidomide will doubtless stop working for me someday, but this month is in the bank. When (if) the drug fails there will be other drugs and some more months, but nothing can take away these wonderful, joyous months and years that it has given me.

Pomalidomide Trial:

Chicken, squash, broccoli, white and
sweet spuds, mustard, all organic

Today was the end of Cycle 63 of my participation in the study of pomalidomide. That drug has kept my myeloma stable and my quality of life high for almost five years now, and has been submitted to the FDA for approval. I certainly hope it is approved soon, so many more people can enjoy its benefits.

My cancer numbers were a little better this time. In fact, all but one blood test either improved or stayed the same. IgG dropped from 1250 to 1130 mg/dL, M-spike is unchanged at 1.1 g/dL, light chains are down and the ratio is up (all good). Also improved are the other blood numbers that were weird last month. Liver function tests ALT, AST, and LDH, which were all somewhat high after a hot marathon and overnight flight, are all back to normal. Kidney function test creatinine is also down slightly, which is the right direction.

 The only test that went the wrong way was my neutrophil count, which dropped and apparently took the total white blood count down with it. Happily, though, it was still 1.5 K/ul, well above the 1.0 minimum required in the study.

CNN Stories:

CNN did another story on my family and me, now that I have finished my 50-state marathon adventure. If you are interested, here are links to the two CNN Stories:

Most-Recent Test Results:

Test

   Oct 17    Nov 15    Dec 13    Jan 10     Remarks

M-spike g/dL 1.0 1.2 1.1 1.1 \ Tumor marker same

IgG mg/dL 1180 1270 1250 1140 / Tumor marker down

Lambda mg/dL 2.38 2.92 3.25 2.56 L free light chains

Calcium mg/dL 10.0 9.6 9.3 9.6 OK

Creatinine mg/dL

1.3 1.2 1.3 1.2 Kidney, OK

HGB g/dL 15.7 14.7 15.1 15.3 Hemoglobin, fine

RBC M/uL 4.35 4.13 4.31 4.41 Red cells bottom edge

WBC K/uL 4.4 5.5 4.4 4.1 White cells, low

ANC K/uL 1.90 3.00 2.10 1.50 Neutrophils, Low

Related Links:

My Myeloma     A discussion of my myeloma, not very technical.

My Treatment History Not technical.

My Test Charts Graphic displays of several key test results over time.

My Test Result Table Somewhat technical. Best with a wide browser window.

My Supplement Regimen With links to where I buy them.