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I’ve been a little negligent about these updates, but that’s because nothing much is happening. My M-protein level, which is a good proxy for the total cancer load in my plasma, has been stable for the past three months, with a slight uptick in the most recent test:

I saw my doctor today, and he seemed happy enough with everything, especially since my lactate dehydrogenase levels were also OK. I’ve never heard of this before, but apparently if it’s high it indicates cell damage, so a low number is good. All the other test results have also been nice and stable over the past three months.

The only side effects of the chemo are tiredness, which is normal, and a slowly increasing case of peripheral neuropathy, which is also normal. The neuropathy is more-or-less untreatable, and a couple of months ago I started to feel it in my hands for the first time (it usually affects the feet first). My doctor suggested a couple of OTC remedies that some of his patients have reported success with. Unfortunately, he agreed when I told him I’d looked at some of those and there was no clinical evidence that they had any effect. I’d be happy to take them as a placebo, but I suppose that won’t work if I don’t believe in them to begin with. This is one of the downsides of having access to clinical literature via the internet. Oh well.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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