June 30, 2011
Some runners don’t like to run the same route over and over again, because repetition is boring. I agree, except when the route is incredibly beautiful, like a mountain trail, because genuine beauty doesn’t get boring.
That’s how I feel about the pomalidomide drug study at Mayo Clinic – I’m not bored. After the 43rd 28-day cycle, my myeloma is still stable, and that’s beautiful, life is good. IgG is down a little, M-spike down a tenth, and Lambda light chains are down significantly. They go up, then they go down. I’m learning to go with the flow, which is especially easy when the flow is down, like today.
Actually, Lambda Light Chains dropped by 31%, while Kappa Chains went up a little, both going in the right direction. These are important cancer markers for some myelomiacs, and this sort of change would be good news for them. Light chains are not the best markers for my myeloma, though, so I don’t know how much it means. Anyway it’s certainly not bad news.
Creatinine is not a cancer marker, but is the primary kidney marker and is checked every month because myeloma can cause kidney failure. Creatinine was near the high end of the range for the second successive month. However, Dr RH explained that creatinine is a byproduct of muscle breakdown, which is happening to everyone all of the time but may be higher than normal in my case because of the running – I ran two marathons in the last 28 days, one just 12 days ago. So I won’t worry unless it goes quite a bit out of range. Meanwhile, more water would probably be good. Kidneys like water. Alas, Dr RH didn’t think that beer would do quite as well.
For this cycle I dropped two supplements: (1) Marrow Plus, Chinese herbs for bone marrow; and (2) Genistein, a supplement which may have an anti-tumor benefit but also some side effects. I also added a supplement containing L-Arginine 500mg and L-Ornithine 250 mg. Results:
Marrow Plus: The neutrophil count shown below was unintentionally ordered and was performed this morning at 6:00 am, reading 1.17 K/uL. It’s always low in the morning. The “real” (intended) count was done yesterday afternoon, reading 1.90 K/ul. Both of those numbers are above the cutoff for the study, and my conclusion is that I don’t need the rather expensive supplement.
Genistein: Since the tumor markers all went down, I assume that this supplement can also be dropped from the regimen. If it ever did any good, it probably isn’t helping now.
L-Arginine & L-Ornithine: These are closely-related amino acids with a reputation for improving blood flow. Listen up men: It works! “Blood flow” is objectively and subjectively improved. Maybe it helped to drop the Genistein, but I think it’s the added L-Arginine. I might create another post about that if I get up enough nerve.
Some Current Test Results: