Thursday, July 28, 2011


July 28, 2011

Cycle 44 of the pomalidomide trial is complete and my myeloma is still stable. IgG is down a few percent, M-spike is unchanged, and Lambda free light chains are up, but only to where they usually sit. NOT ho-hum, though - I'm always a bit nervous, because we know that the lovely ride on pomalidomide will come to an end someday. Not today though. Yay!


I mentioned to Dr RH that L-Arginine made a significant improvement in a uniquely-male problem for me. He seemed pleased, but did caution that there is some anecdotal evidence that L-Arginine can increase the frequency of cold sores (herpes simplex). Perhaps it helps the herpes virus to replicate. In the same vein, a blog reader has commented that he developed shingles (herpes zoster) while taking 2000 mg L-Arginine daily. Ouch.

Consequently, an increased risk of cold sores and shingles outbreaks may be the price of improved erectile function through L-Arginine. Cold sores might not be such a high cost, but shingles can be very painful and, in rare cases, can even result in permanent injury. Further, we myelomiacs have an unusually high risk of shingles, because our immune systems are impaired.

Nevertheless, I'm not stopping the L-Arginine, at least not until I learn the lesson the hard way. I take a daily capsule containing 500 mg L-Arginine and 250 mg L-Ornithine. However, I also take a daily tablet of L-Lysine 500 mg, which is reputed to help suppress those viruses.

Some Current Test Results:

Test    May 05    Jun 02    Jun 30    Jul 28     Remarks
M-spike g/dL 1.0 1.1 1.0 1.0 Best tumor measure?
IgG mg/dL 1130 1110 1070 1030 Best tumor measure?
Lambda mg/dL 3.07 2.52 1.74 2.21 L Free light chains
Calcium mg/dL 9.4 10.4 10.0 9.8 Normal
Creatinine mg/dL 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.3 Kidney, High
HGB g/dL 14.7 15.2 14.8 15.1 Hemoglobin, good
RBC M/uL 4.11 4.13 4.28 4.17 Red cells, low
WBC K/uL 4.6 4.9 3.6 5.1 White cells, OK
ANC K/uL 1.90 2.40 1.17 1.90 Neutrophils, OK

Creatinine is a measure of the kidneys' ability to clear waste from the blood, and has been a little high (wrong direction) for several cycles now. I don't quite know what to think about that. Drink more water I guess ...

Related Links:

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.

Leftovers atop greens, with sweet potatoes and beans. Mostly organic, especially the sweet spuds, greens, and beans. The red lines on the sweet potato slices are a tasty pepper sauce:


  1. It is wonderful to see from your chart that you are continuing to do so well and maintain good health. I am not surprised when I see your very delicious lunch.
    All very best wishes.

  2. Hi Don, I just wanted to leave a message to say how much I enjoy and appreciate reading your blog. My mother has myeloma, and I am a final year medical student, so I see the disease from both sides. I came across your blog while looking up pomelidomide, and I come back every few weeks to see how you're doing. Keep up the good work! You're incredibly knowledgable, and your posts are both informative and encouraging. Take care :)

  3. The Herpes virus flourishes and reactivates when the balance of Arginine and Lysine are out of line. Higher levels of Arginine reactivate the herpes. So simple solution is to keep the balance by always taking Lysine at the same time as you take your L arginine.
    Ratio of lysine to arginine in foods