Week 127 of chemo: Cancer levels remain stable – Goodbye Dexamethasone!

Week 127 of chemo: Cancer levels remain stable - Goodbye Dexamethasone!

I look at my chemo treatment as walking along a road, carrying rocks that represent my pomalyst and dexamethasone. However after 127 weeks, my time with dexamethasone has come to an end. It no longer weighs me down. I’m letting it go.

I’m moving forward with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

My July blood test results show that my M protein (cancer levels) remain stable at 3.0 g/L.

The chemo continues to be effective and I’m feeling happy.

M protein (g/L)
July = 3.0
June = 3.2
May = value missing
Apr = 3.0
Mar = 3.0
Feb = 3.5
Jan = 3.3
Feb 2015 (pre-chemo) = 36.1

My Multiple Myeloma Specialist stopped my dexamethasone (dex) treatment. Tests ordered by my Glaucoma Specialist showed that the dex (steroid) had caused mild right eye damage due to increased eye pressure from cumulative use since 2015. Prescribed eye drops prescribed by my Glaucoma Specialist are keeping my eye pressure normal, however, I’m steroid sensitive to dex, meaning glaucoma is an ongoing concern.

I’m hopeful that my cancer levels will remain stable without major side effects from the Pomalyst chemo only. I’m also remaining optimistic that the symptoms from my cancer will remain manageable. I’m extremely happy to get off dex as the mental and physical side effects are pretty brutal.

I’m thankful that the next day I am able to go online to view my lab results. I’m focusing positive energy on keeping my cancer levels stable, I try and remain calm and keep my stress levels low each day. I’m also focused on eating as healthy as possible. When I started in February 2015, my cancer levels were 36.1 and now they are 3.0.

My Hematology profile (how my body responds overall to being on treatment) looks good.

Hematology Profile
Date WBC Hemoglobin Platelet Count Neutrophils
Reference Range 4.0 – 11.0 135 – 170 150 – 400 2.0 – 8.0
Jul 2017 4.6 136 323 3.6
Jun 2017 5.2 131 312 4.3
May 2017 5.1 132 303 4.1
Apr 2017 6.6 127 294 3.7
Mar 2017 5.1 130 303 4.2
Feb 2017 4.8 132 324 3.6
Jan 2017 4.8 136 304 3.7
Dec 2016 6.7 128 303 3.4

To recap: On Sunday, July 16th, I completed Cycle 32 Week 3. I have Multiple Myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells that 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, my dexamethasone treatment ended, due to eye damage, reported by my Glaucoma Specialist, from long-term use.

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

Sun sets on Granville IslandMay 2014: Granville Island Sunset

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