We later discovered that the city of Pine Island had in fact become an island, though it normally is not.
IgG versus M-Spike:
IgG is a measure of ALL Immunoglobulin G proteins, good and bad, where M-Spike is a measure of just those Immunoglobulin G proteins that are monoclonal, the bad ones, all exactly the same. Medically, M-Spike can never be higher than IgG. Thursday my IgG was 1070 mg/dL, but M-Spike was 1200 mg/dL (1.2 g/dL). Not possible. I hate that! I was feeling pretty good about another "stable" result until that M-Spike came bombing in.
I asked Dr KDS about this impossibility - which number is most likely to be wrong? She wasn't sure, but assured me (paraphrasing here) that she has seen this before, because both tests have an error tolerance, but that she was NOT worried. Further, I'm still stable and, as always, let's see what next month brings.
Sigh. I fret about this stuff, and was hoping for a fret-free 28 days. I've been on the pomalidomide (CC-4047) study for 33 complete cycles now, and it has done a fine job of keeping me stable. Nevertheless, I know that the ride will end some day and I will need to take a different course of drugs that may have much worse side effects. So I'm always wondering if that time is near and hoping that it isn't.
For now, though, I'm going to try to convince myself that the M-Spike number is wrong. There is nothing in the other cancer markers to suggest an increase in tumor burden. Calcium is fine, kidneys are fine, liver is fine, and light chains are not much changed. In fact, an IgG measurement of 1070 mg/dL is actually a decrease of 3% from August and 8% from July. We'll go with that.
Mayo Clinic will soon start a trial of this brand-new drug. Carfilzomib is a proteasome inhibitor, like Velcade, at least as effective but much less likely to cause painful neuropathy. Furthermore, it can be effective in patients for whom Velcade has failed. I blogged about it here. I'm not sure what it will take to qualify for the trial, but if you go to Mayo you might ask about it.
I am not a medical doctor, so you shouldn't believe anything that I say. Nevertheless: If you are offered twice-weekly Velcade as a treatment, just say NO. Twice-weekly infusion is still the official, approved regimen, even though several studies have shown that once-weekly infusion is much less likely to cause painful neuropathy in most patients. In addition, there can be a threshhold effect: if a patient on twice-weekly infusions does develop neuropathy, switching to once-weekly may not help the neuropathy much. Once you get the neuropathy it's yours to keep, and any amount of Velcade will reactivate it. A patient who starts out with once-weekly infusions, however, is much less likely to develop serious neuropathy in the first place. If your doctor insists on starting out with the official twice-weekly protocol, change doctors. No kidding. Velcade is an excellent drug, but it's useless if the neuropathy prevents you from taking it.
Some current test results:
|Test||Jun 29||Jul 29||Aug 24||Sep 23||Remarks|
|M-spike g/dL||1.0||1.1||1.1||1.2||Best tumor measure?|
|IgG mg/dL||1120||1160||1100||1070||Best tumor measure?|
|L FLC mg/dL||1.74||1.86||2.79||2.58||L Free light chains|
|Calcium mg/dL||9.9||9.9||10.1||10.0||Below 10.2 is OK|
|Creat mg/dL||1.2||1.0||1.3||0.9||Kidney, OK|
|HGB g/dL||14.5||14.0||15.7||15.8||Hemoglobin, OK|
|RBC M/uL||4.30||4.16||4.39||4.43||Red cells, OK|
|WBC K/uL||3.4||2.8||4.4||4.2||White cells, OK|
|ANC K/uL||1.09||0.93||1.41||1.60||Neutrophils, low|
|My Myeloma||A discussion of my myeloma, not very technical.|
|My Treatment History||Not technical.|
|My Test Charts||Graphic displays of several key test results over time.|
|My Test Result Table||Somewhat technical. Best with a wide browser window.|
|My Supplement Regimen||With links to where I buy them.|