Bone Marrow Biopsy Results and MORE – February 27 2013

Drove to Twin Falls, Idaho in very cold Minus 2 temperatures, which gradually warmed up as I left the Big Lost River Valley and approached the Magic Valley.

Highway 93 to Carey, Idaho. Look in the middle and you’ll see an avalanche chute.
I delivered my 24 hour urine collected from 26-27 Feb 2013 kept in a cooler with ice to the St. Luke’s Hospital Lab. 

My appointments at St. Luke’s Hospital, Twin Falls was all mixed up and they didn’t have me down for a lab draw prior to my doctor’s appointment and no Infusion Room appointment. So, I waited while very nice receptionist Pamela got it figured out for me.

My hair is growing again and I actually have bangs!…me and Michelle Obama!  However, my hair is WILD and won’t do anything I try to do with it. I had to shave my legs for the first time this morning for a very little stubble.

They finally drew my blood from my Bard Power Port and and waited while the results were done. Dr. Padavanija came in and told me my 10th bone marrow biopsy results “weren’t good”. 

Evidently, I have been looking at the apples to oranges vs apples to apples on my previous bone marrow biopsy results. When I reported that my plasma cell percentage in my bone marrow was 60 percent on 16 Oct 2012 and then down to 40 percent on 20 Dec 2012, I was reporting TWO DIFFERENT methods – flow cytometry for plasma cells and a manual count of plasma cells from the slides. Evidently, the manual count for plasma cells is the most accurate. You’d think I know this before the 10th Bone Marrow Biopsy!!!

On 16 Oct 2012, the flow cytometry was 27 % plasma cells and the manual count was 60 %.
On 20 Dec 2012, the flow cytometry was 40 % plasma cells and the manual count was not done. Dr. Padavanija sent Pathology a request to do it today, and the manual count was 50 %.
On 20 Feb 2013, the flow cytometry was 26 % plasma cells and the manual count was 64 %.

On the cytogenetics report, I have two lines of abnormalities with a final note indicating, “This result is indicative of persistent disease. The findings of abnormal metaphases in a patient with myeloma is also an indicator for increased cell proliferation, which has been shown to be predicative for shorter event-free and overall survival (Haematologica, 96(1): 87’11). Clinical correlation is required.”

My peripheral blood on 20 Feb 2013 was summarized as:
1. Moderate anemia with slight macrocytosis (oxygen carrying ability and energy)
2. Severe leukopenia/neutropenia (ability to fight infection)
3. Moderate thrombocytopenia (ability clot blood)

SPEP Blood Values from 20 Feb 2013:

My M-Spike was sligthtly down to 0.3 (20 Feb 2013) from 0.4 (22 Jan 2013 and 20 Dec 
M-Spike Hx since 2nd ASCT (autologous stem cell transplant):
20 Feb 2013      0.3 (Idaho)
22 Jan 2013      0.4 (UCH)
20 Dec 2012     0.4 (Idaho)
27 Nov 2012     0..5 (Idaho)
20 Nov 2012     0.5 (Mayo Scottsdale)
16 Oct 2012      0.3 (UCH)
2 Oct 2012        0.4 (Idaho)
4 Sep 2012       0.3 (Idaho)
13 Aug 2012     0.1 (Idaho)
8 Aug 2012      <0.1 (Idaho)
18 May 2012     2nd ASCT (UCH)

My M-Spike history is not very valuable since I am a non-secretory myeloma patient where the bone marrow values are more valuable than the blood values.

Total Protein: normal at 6.3 (norms 6-8.2)

IgG low at 556 (norms 700-1600)
IgA low at <13 (norms 70-400)
IgM low at <8 (norms 40-230)

Lamba Qnt FLC results BELOW reportable range of 1.9 (norms 5.7-26.3)
Kappa Qnt FLC 3.64 (norms 3.3-19.4)
Kappa/Lamba FLCR Unable to calculate ratio since values below reportable range.

Dr. Padavanija called Clay Smith, MD at the University of Colorado while I waited today, 27 Feb 2013 and they decided my bone marrow biopsy results mean I have failed on carfilzomib/dex/revlimid with a couple of cytoxan doses. I will discontinue carfilzomib/revlimid/ and cytoxan today. 

They will attempt to get approval to put me on pomalidomide (Pomalyst) 21 out of 28 days and Dex 40 mg (Days 1, 8, 15, 22. The approval of the pomalidomide may take weeks, but they wanted me to start the Dex 40 mg today. I asked if I should continue Revlimid 10 mg until the decision is made on the pomalidomide and Dr. Padavanija said no. So, I will continue off chemotherapy for another week or 2. Hopefully, my lab values will have time to recover during this time. 

The good news is that pomalidomide (Pomalyst) is a pill taken daily at home and I will not have to go to St. Luke’s Hospital two days a week with a motel stay like I have been doing for carfilzomib chemotherapy. I will have to week blood tests once I start pomalidomide.

The Myeloma Beacon had an article about a French study on polalidomide today [French Study Provides Further Insights Into Pomalyst’s Efficacy, Safety, And Dosing
[ by Virginia Li | Feb 27, 2013 4:47 pm |] which was interesting. Click here to go to article:

Today’s lab values:
White blood cells (WBC) continue low at 2.1 (norms 4.5-11); Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) continues low at 1.25 (norms 1.9-8.8); hemoglobin continues low at 9.8 (norms 12-16); and platelets continue low at 128 (norms 140-440).
My LDH was up at 633 (norms 313-619), a gross indicator of inflammation and rapid cell growth.

My kidney function blood test showed an increase in creatinine again to 1.11 (norms 0.52-1.04).

I received my monthly bone building medicine, Aredia 30 mg intravenously. I took over-the-counter Claritin and 500 mg of Tylenol to decrease the headache, body aches, and flu like symptoms of Aredia. 

I received the  40 mg of dex intravenously today since my stomach has been so upset. Dr. Padavanija said the IV Dex would also upset my stomach. She gave me a prescription for Carafate 1 GM/10 ml Suspension to be taken 4x per day which will be hard for me since it has to be taken on an empty stomach not within eating for 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating and not within 30 minutes of taking any antacids…we’ll see how I do…because I’m a snacker.

They were able to schedule the MRI of my hip and pelvis for tomorrow morning, 28 Feb 2013, so I kept my motel reservation for tonight, 27 Feb 2013 even though I didn’t get any chemotherapy today and I won’t get any tomorrow. 

I also got a new prescription for oxycodone 5 mg immediate release tabs to replace my use of Tylenol and Percocet (which has Tylenol in it). They are very small pills, but I think I can cut them in half for a 2.5 mg dose.

Happily went to Taco Bell for dinner!  :) That part of my life GOOD!