Week 155 of chemo complete: Cancer levels continue to increase

My monthly blood test results for January, show that my cancer levels/m protein have increased from between 10 and 11 in December up to 13 in January. I began Ninlaro chemo with my Pomalyst chemo on January 8th, however, it may be early to see the effectiveness of both chemo. Or looking at it from a positive perspective, if I wasn’t on Ninlaro, perhaps my levels would have spiked to 18 or 20. I have noticed this new chemo has increased my appetite as well as my level of fatigue.

M protein (g/L) (0 = cancer undetectable)
Jan = 13 (began Ninlaro chemo – Jan 8th)
Dec = between 10 and 11
Nov = 8
Late Oct = 9
Early Oct = between 5-6
Sept = under 7.7
Aug = value missing
July = 3.0
June =3.2
Feb 2015 (began chemo) 36.1

My m protein value is my cancer levels marker. Think of it as the amount of myeloma/cancer in my plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells used to fight infection. That’s why multiple myeloma is a cancer of the immune system and also called a blood cancer. If my m protein is 0, then cancer is undetectable in my bloodstream.

I remain hopeful that February’s results will improve.

Photo: Friday afternoon I headed to Stanley Park to take a photo in the forest. I wanted to express the challenges of chemo side effects, through the act of balancing with one foot on a rock. An ordinary task that seems simple and easy, actually isn’t. I am reminded of this when a tourist asks me for directions. I find that I will babble and give a convoluted response forcing me to recommend they ask some else for assistance.

Week 155 of chemo complete: Cancer levels continue to increase

To recap: On Sunday, January 28th, I completed Cycle 39 Week 3. 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, my dexamethasone treatment ended, due to eye damage, reported by my Glaucoma Specialist, from long-term use. On January 9th I began Ninlaro chemo to combat steadily rising cancer levels.

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

Take a book, return a bookMay 2014: Granville Island

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