Health Update


I just got back from a visit with the oncologist, and she says all my test results are normal. My IgG levels are normal. My light kappa chains are normal. Hooray!

Except, of course, for the one test that really matters, the M protein marker (a proxy for the level of cancerous cells in my bone marrow). It’s now gone down from 0.9 to 0.72 to 0.63 to 0.55. My own amateur analysis suggests that this means it will plateau at around 0.3 or 0.4, which is not great news since we want to get it to zero. My oncologist’s professional analysis is that, hey, maybe the cancer is already gone and the protein markers are just hanging around for a while.

Do I sound a little annoyed at my inability to ever get anything but happy talk from these folks? Yeah, I guess so. I understand that there’s not much point in getting bent out of shape about these results until I’ve been on the new meds long enough to get a truly reliable reading. I also understand that oncologists want to keep their patients from getting depressed. Still, I wish I had a little more visibility about what’s likely to happen over the next year or so.

Oh well. At least the M protein marker level is going in the right direction. This means I’m basically in good shape for a while. And I feel pretty good, though I think the higher dose of the new med is making me a little bit more tired than usual. Nothing serious, though. For the time being, everything is in pretty good shape.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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