All Good News

Friday, August 19, 2016:

Wednesday I brought a Mayo Clinic blood draw “kit” to the local clinic, where they drew the blood and shipped it overnight back to Mayo.  Last evening the results showed up on Mayo’s patient portal, and I’m happy!

Since early April my treatment regimen has been 2 mg of Pomalyst every day, with infusions of Darzalex every week and then every other week, currently with 12 mg of dexamethasone (DEX) on the weeks between Darzalex infusions.  During that time my IgG and M-Spike dropped about 20% per month until a month ago, then leveled off.

Wednesday’s results confirmed that IgG and M-Spike are stable, at least for now.  IgG was 515 mg/dL two months ago, 544 last month, and 506 on Wednesday.  M-Spike followed a similar pattern and was 0.5 g/dL on wednesday.  These numbers are as low as they have ever been since my diagnosis 13 years ago, and just a third of their values of last April.  The chemo regimen is doing a great job for me.

Where to from here?  Could we cut the Pomalyst or the DEX?  It’s nice to think about, but mostly I’m just happy to be stable for now and content to wait another month.  I suppose another PET scan is indicated, to be sure that the lesions in my vertebrae have faded back (as I think they have), but I can wait for that too.  I haven’t heard from Dr WG at Mayo yet – perhaps he will have a different idea.

I also had a heart disease scare in the last marathon, but a recent stress test was normal, actually better than normal, so I think the angina-like symptoms were caused by acid reflux.  Also, because my most recent colonoscopy was ten years in the past, the doc ordered one of those and that too was negative.  I feel thoroughly checked out and ready to run a few more marathons!

Vermouth and Volante

Monday saw me making my way to New Cross Hospital for the first of this week’s appointments. Armed with my appointment letter and a bottle of human pop I waited in the reception queue to be called.”Michael Gormley” called the health care assistant. I got up and walked over to her and she said: “you’re looking well this morning”, so I started to limp. I limped down the corridor to Dr. M’s clinic and took a seat, holding out my bottle of “Pop”. HCA :”I know it says we need it on your letter, but it is a standard letter and we don’t actually need it, but thank you for making the effort”. Where to put it now….. in my pocket it went with a prayer that the lid might be tight.Dr. M introduced himself as one of Dr. B’s team…..AAAAAAH….NOW I know why I’m here…… the Gastro-intestinal man has asked Dr.M to consult with me. What a pleasant man Dr.M is, explaining why I needed to see him. I had complained that I have a regular urgency that makes me run back home from bus stops, turn the car around and rush back home mid journey and to trek the landing in the middle of