Cycle 7: April blood test results – Cancer levels increased

Apologies for being late sharing my April blood test results. Unfortunately my cancer levels increased a bit. Not freaked out. This chemo has been a rockstar fighting my cancer since October, so no complaints here. I’ve done very well since then as I started pretty high (48) and now I’m in single digits (3).

I believe that May will be a good month. Can’t wait to see my next month’s results. In my final cycle of treatment (Cycle 8). So happy!

M protein (g/L) (if 0, then no cancer detected)
Apr = 3
Mar = between 1 and 2
Feb = 3
Jan = between 5 and 6
Dec = between 5 and 6
Nov = 11
Late Oct = 27 (started chemo)
Early Oct = 48

Self-portrait – Happiness is…eating a fresh mango tart
Today when I was shopping at the T&T Supermarket, I passed by the dessert section and a mango tart starting calling my name. I decided to treat myself as I love mangoes.

Cycle 7: April blood test results - Cancer levels have increased


I have multiple myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. These plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. As a blood cancer, it is incurable, but treatable.

Since mid-October, I’m being treated with Kyprolis (carfilzomib), an IV chemo, Cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone.

Steveston - Canada GeeseMay 2014 – Steveston – Canada Geese

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Cycle 6: March blood test results – Cancer levels dropped again

Good News!

My March blood test results show that my cancer levels dropped. They are now between 1 and down down from 3 in February.

This chemo continues to slay my cancer.

Fatigue makes thinking and doing challenging, but I’m going to find a low-key way to celebrate the good news.

M protein (g/L) (if 0, then no cancer detected)
Mar = between 1 and 2
Feb = 3
Jan = between 5 and 6
Dec = between 5 and 6
Nov = 11
Late Oct = 27 (began chemo)
Early Oct = 48

Self-portrait – Want to sleep, but too early for bed
I’m late updating everyone with my March blood test results. Chemo side effects like chemo fog and fatigue have been rough and I haven’t had the mental and physical energy for the complete process of taking a creative self-portrait (thinking, doing, editing, posting).

Last Thursday, when I took this photo, was a chemo day, then I did laundry, and made lunch. I felt drained, I just wanted to shut down and go to bed, but it was too early. So I just put my head down at my desk and had a little nap. Just one of the little quirks that is a part of my life.

Cycle 6: March blood test results - Cancer levels dropped again


I have multiple myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. These plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. As a blood cancer, it is incurable, but treatable.

Since mid-October, I’m being treated with Kyprolis (carfilzomib), an IV chemo, Cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone.

English Bay - VancouverJune 2014: English Bay

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Cycle 5: Feb blood test results – Cancer levels dropped

Good News!

My February blood test results show that my cancer levels dropped. They are now 3 down from between 5 and 6 in January.

I’m super happy my numbers are back on track. Feeling optimistic about March.

M protein (g/L) (if 0, then no cancer detected)
Feb = 3
Jan = between 5 and 6
Dec = between 5 and 6
Nov = 11
Late Oct = 27
Early Oct = 48

Cycle 5: Feb blood test results - Cancer levels dropped

Weekly chemo-inspired self-portraits can be viewed in my flickr album.

I have multiple myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. These plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. As a blood cancer, it is incurable, but treatable.

Since mid-October, I’m being treated with Kyprolis (carfilzomib), an IV chemo, Cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone.

Lonsdale Quay Market - North VancouverMay 2014: Lonsdale Quay – North Vancouver

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Cycle 4: Jan blood test results – Cancer levels remain unchanged

My Jan blood test results show that my cancer levels (m protein) remain unchanged.
For Dec my cancer levels (m protein) were between 5 and 6 and are between 5 and 6 for Jan. However, I believe my chemo is still effective in fighting my multiple myeloma as other protein markers that can also be used to measure my progress (Beta 2 Globulin and igG) have decreased.

So this news is not discouraging or upsetting. I remain optimistic that my Feb blood test results will be good.

Feeling alright and staying positive!

M protein (g/L) (0 = no cancer detected)
Jan = between 5 and 6
Dec = between 5 and 6
Nov = 11
Late Oct = 27
Early Oct = 48
Sept = 41

Beta 2 globulin protein (1.8 – 4.8 normal levels)
Jan = 7.4
Dec = 9.0
Nov = 13.1

igG protein (6.7 – 15.2 normal levels)
Jan = 7.9
Dec = 10.1
Nov = 12.8

Cycle 4: Jan blood test results - Cancer levels remained unchanged

Photo: Blood test results are only part of the picture
Each month I share the results of my recent blood test. It is important to know whether my chemo treatment is working, so that my Myeloma Specialist and I can make adjustments, if my cancer levels increase. However, this is just one measure of my overall health, living with multiple myeloma.

There are daily challenges and obstacles that can be compounded due to side effects from treatment or symptoms of my disease – one of them are stairs. These are the stairs in my home. Each time I’m able to walk up or down the stairs without incident is a win. I’m always worried about fatigue or bone issues causing difficulties on the way down or developing internal problems that restrict my ability to walk up.

Happy to report that today was incident-free, hoping tomorrow will be the same.

Weekly chemo-inspired self-portraits can be viewed in my flickr album.

I have multiple myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. These plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. As a blood cancer, it is incurable, but treatable.

Since mid-October, I’m being treated with Kyprolis (carfilzomib), an IV chemo, Cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone.

End of the day on Granville IslandMay 2014: Granville Island Sunset

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Cycle 3: Dec blood test results – Cancer levels dropped again

I’m happy to announce that my Dec blood test results show a decrease in cancer levels (m protein). My cancer levels dropped from 11 (Nov results four weeks ago) to between 5 and 6 now. With my particular type of multiple myeloma, an exact m protein value isn’t always possible as it is manually calculated.

It is reassuring to know that this chemo treatment remains effective in fighting my rare cancer. My monthly blood tests continue to trend in the right direction. This is my week off from chemo (Cycle 3 Week 4) and I’ll start Cycle 4 later in the week.

M protein (g/L) (0 = no cancer detected)
Dec = between 5 and 6
Nov = 11
Late Oct = 27 (began IV chemo – Kyprolis)
Early Oct = 48
Sept = 41
Aug = between 37 and 38
July = between 31 and 32

Cycle 3: Dec blood test results - Cancer levels dropped again
Photo: Treating myself to a fruit tart. So yummy!

Weekly chemo-inspired self-portraits can be viewed in my flickr album.

I have multiple myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. These plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. As a blood cancer, it is incurable, but treatable.

Since mid-October, I’m being treated with Kyprolis (carfilzomib), an IV chemo, Cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone.

End of the day on Granville IslandMay 2014: Granville Island Sunset

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Cycle 2: Nov blood test results – Cancer levels dropped again

I’m happy to announce that my Nov blood test results show my cancer levels (m protein) have decreased from 27 four weeks ago (Late Oct results) to 11 now (Nov results). This is pretty cool and means that my chemo is still effective in fighting my cancer.

I’m really excited to see what this month’s results will be like. Over the last week I’m also pleased to share that I haven’t felt as fatigued nor has my stomach felt bloated (caused by dexamethasone), which is a common issue.

My Port is working great with my IV chemo and I haven’t had any adversity. After a week off from chemo (Cycle 2 Week 4), I’ll start Cycle 3 later in the week.

M protein (g/L) (0 = no cancer detected)
Nov = 11
Late Oct = 27 (1st test after started Kyprolis IV chemo)
Early Oct = 48
Sept = 41
Aug = between 37 and 38
July = between 31 and 32
June = 25

Trending in the right direction!

Cycle 2: Nov blood test results - Cancer levels dropped again

Photo: My body temperature is lower due to long term chemo treatment, so I’m always feeling cold. Thankfully there is a heater in my room to keep me warm.

Weekly chemo-inspired self-portraits can be viewed in my flickr album.

I have multiple myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. These plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. As a blood cancer, it is incurable, but treatable.

Since mid-October, I’m being treated with Kyprolis (carfilzomib), an IV chemo, Cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone.

Vanier Park @ Kitsilano - Vancouver, BC

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Happy Thanksgiving…

I hope it’s a great day for everyone and you are doing what it is you want.

So a small update. We saw the hematologist/medical oncologist today. She is very with it and I felt very good about how she’s handling things.  He will have a bone marrow biopsy  on Tuesday to determine the blood cancer. It’s all very surreal. How is it that we both end up with something like this.

When we went thru this with me, we were scared and didn’t know anything. We had hardly ever went to doctors. Ever. So this time around we at least know what to expect. I suppose that’s something.

 

Cycle 1: Late Oct blood test results – Cancer levels dropped alot!

I’m very happy to announce that my late Oct blood test results cancer levels dropped alot, even though I was only on IV chemo for 2 weeks (4 sessions) rather than 3 weeks for Cycle 1 (6 sessions).

My cancer levels (m protein) dropped from 48 (Early Oct results) 5 weeks ago to 27 (Late Oct results) last week. This means my treatment is working already, which feels amazing, as IV chemo is a pretty intense process. I’m excited to see my next test results later this month.

On Wednesday I begin Cycle 2 of chemo using my fancy new Port.

M protein (g/L) (0 = no cancer detected)
Late Oct = 27
Early Oct = 48
Sept = 41
Aug = between 37 and 38
July = between 31 and 32
June = 25

Staying positive!

Cycle 1: Late Oct blood test results - Cancer levels dropped alot!

Photo: I love nap time as I have chronic fatigue as a symptom of my multiple myeloma + anemia and chemo fatigue as a side effect from treatment.


I have multiple myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. These plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. As a blood cancer, it is incurable, but treatable.

Since October 10th, I’m being treated with Kyprolis (carfilzomib), an IV chemo, Cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone.

Take a book, return a bookMay 2014: Granville Island

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Cycle 48 Complete: Chemo does not always work out

On Oct 14th, my Pomalyst chemo treatment came to end after 48 cycles (Cycle 48) or 192 weeks. It feels odd that it is over. It is unfortunate that Pomalyst didn’t remain effective against my multiple myeloma, even when Ninlaro was added back in January. Chemo unfortunately, doesn’t always work out. But, I’m not one to dwell on the past. I’m happy for the year and a half of low and stable cancer levels and I feel positive about my future.

I’m about to start a third week of a new IV chemo called Kyprolis. Perhaps also due to the high amounts of myeloma (cancer) in my blood, my ability to concentrate is limited, and I experience ongoing fatigue and low energy.

I remain hopeful that this new treatment will result in lower and stable cancer levels for a long time. I’m focused on a calm lifestyle, with healthy eating and lots of rest.

Photo: Bedroom at Sunset

Cycle 48 Complete: Chemo doesn’t always work out

On Sunday Oct 14th, I completed Cycle 48. I have Multiple Myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. These plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. As a blood cancer, it is incurable, but treatable.

From Feb 9th 2015 – October 14th 2018, I was on Pomalyst. I was also on dexamethasone chemo treatment until July 16th 2017, when my dexamethasone treatment ended, due to right eye damage, as reported by my Glaucoma Specialist, from long-term use. From Jan 9th – Oct 14th 2018, I was also on Ninlaro chemo due to rising cancer levels. From July 23rd – Sept 16th, dexamethasone was added to my Ninlaro and Pomalyst chemo treatment, due to excessively high cancer levels.

Waiting on letters from a friendMay 2014: Granville Island

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Week 188 of chemo complete – Hello Nature!

I love saying Hello Nature! I wonder if there is somewhere in the world where sunflowers grow as big as trees. That would be an amazing place to visit. While taking my self-portrait, bees were flying around, but I focused on the shot, and didn’t worry about getting stung.

Just another beautiful day for photography.

Week 188 of chemo complete: Hello Nature!

On Sunday, Sept 16th, I completed Cycle 47 Week 4. I have multiple myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. These plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. As a blood cancer, it is incurable, but treatable. Since February 9th 2015, I have been on Pomalyst and Dexamethasone chemo treatment (Pom/Dex). On July 16th 2017, my Dexamethasone treatment ended, due to right eye damage, reported by my Glaucoma Specialist, from long-term use. On January 9th, 2018 I began Ninlaro chemo to combat steadily rising cancer levels. On July 23rd, dexamethasone (40mg) was added to my Ninlaro and Pomalyst chemo treatment, due to excessively high cancer levels.

StevestonMay 2014: Steveston

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