Friday, November 18, 2011

Probably Good News

After 48 cycles on the sweet little pill called pomalidomide, my cancer markers are about the same as last month. IgG is higher than I would like to see it, at 1280 mg/dL, but it didn't jump up again, it actually dropped slightly. M-spike stayed still at 1.1 g/dL. So the cancer still appears to be stable. Dr. LH did mention that stress (3 marathons in 3 weeks?) could contribute to increased IgG, and I know that I have a tooth that is starting to go bad, so those are reasons why IgG might be a little higher than expected.

Lambda light chains dropped a bit, too, while kappa light chains remained the same. I'm not sure that means anything, except it can't be bad.

Calcium has bounced around in recent months, and it's back up again. We discussed doing a skeletal survey, to check for bone lesions, but Dr. LH said that if the calcium is coming from bone lesions, it isn't likely to go down again next month. So we'll hold off for a month and see. She suggested that better hydration might improve the calcium numbers, and I think she's right - I know that I don't drink enough water. I need to figure out some easy way to fit proper hydration into my life so that it happens automatically. Yeah.

I haven't been blogging here much lately, because we three have been on the road a lot, but we're going to the ASH Conference in December and I hope to blog several times while there.

Some Current Test Results:

Test    Aug 25    Sep 22    Oct 19    Nov 17     Remarks
M-spike g/dL 1.1 1.0 1.1 1.1 \ Tumor marker
IgG mg/dL 1150 1020 1310 1280 / Tumor marker
Lambda mg/dL 2.25 2.49 2.75 2.12 L Free light chains
Calcium mg/dL 10.5 10.0 10.0 10.3 OK
Creatinine mg/dL 1.1 0.9 1.1 1.1 Kidney, OK
HGB g/dL 14.7 14.9 14.6 15.0 Hemoglobin, OK
RBC M/uL 4.08 4.09 4.07 4.18 Red cells, low
WBC K/uL 3.8 6.2 4.8 5.3 White cells, normal
ANC K/uL 1.40 2.60 2.30 1.70 Neutrophils, normal

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.

There's oatmeal under there somewhere:


  1. Don,

    So happy to see your doing better.

    I seem to recall (from somewhere that you periodically take glucosamine chondroitin supplements as many people do.

    You might want to reconsider that given this information:

    Good wishes for Thanksgiving
    Danny Parker

  2. Danny,

    Thank you! Without your comment I might have missed this one. I DO take glucosamine, with chondroitin or MSM or both. Not much hyaluronic acid. I've been doing that quite religiously for years, because my left hip starts to hurt if I don't!

    According to the article it would make a difference only if I were taking prednisone (or, presumably, dexamethasone), but at the moment I'm not taking either steroid, only the pomalidomide. Hmmm.

    However, if the glucosamine supplements were making a difference, I could find out by simply discontinuing them for a month or two. That might be interesting. I'll do a bit more research, and think about it.

    Thanks again.

  3. Don,

    Since glucosamine is a precursor to hyaluronic acid in the human body, I think I would find a way to limit or avoid its use:

    We don't want to do anything to help the myeloma cells to survive longer!

    You are the best judge, but you might look into it further.