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I learned two things today. First, my oncologist is just as goofy and rattlebrained as ever. Second, my M-protein level, which is a pretty good proxy for the level of cancerous cells in my bone marrow, is down from 0.9 to 0.7. That’s after two months on the new meds. Next week I’ll get a reading after three months on the meds.

Lower is better, so things are moving in the right direction. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to zero, but getting the levels down and slowing the recurrence of progression is still good news.1

1Actually, it’s the only possible good news. Generally speaking, multiple myeloma is not curable in the usual sense. The best you can do is reduce the level of myeloma as much as possible in order to delay the onset of “progression”—i.e., rapid growth of cancerous cells. Progression will inevitably recur at some point, and when it happens it probably means another round of chemotherapy. In the best case, it will take five or more years for this to happen, at which point there might be better therapies available than we have today. Another five years after that and maybe the nanobot revolution will have arrived. Stay tuned.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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