Sunday, April 19, 2009

FIrst Numbers Report

The news we've all been waiting for: Is it working? Yes. Today we received the report of IGG levels and M protein. IGGs have dropped from 5300 to 2500. M protein dropped from 3.6 to 2.1. We know more comprehensive studies will be needed over the next couple of months, but for now we are very pleased to know that it appears the beam is killing off the myeloma cells. Typically over the next couple of weeks/month the downward trend should continue. My white count continues to languish at 0.01.

As an aside, I share this incident from the weekend visit at the clinic. Given the nonmovement of my white count, my nurse decided to talk to the on call doctor. This young doctor recommended that I have a bone marrow biopsy on Monday to determine whether I had enough stem cells, and if not, then to give me more of my stem cells. A supplementary transplant????? Anyway, when the nurse told me this was the plan, I simply said, NO. I conveyed the refusal 2 more times, and then learned today of other, much less traumatic means to address the problem. I share this because one lesson we've learned is that one has to be on the ball with the weekend crew, whether it's the on call doctor or the nursing crew. I suspect more medical errors occur during the weekends than the other 5 days of the week. My friend, Ted, tells me that Barlogie will be in Denver this week for a myeloma conference. So, unless absolutely necessary, no decisions will be made regarding any treatment until he returns.

In the meantime, I continue to deal with this torn up GI tract. I picked up this nasty bug, which is contageous. So, when I get to the clinic they immediately escort me to a private room at the end of the hall, so I don't infect anyone else. I'm given multiple IVs of antibiotics daily, along with potassium. We usually spend 4 to 6 hours at the clinic. Then, at home I have meds that must be taken every 3 hours. Not much sleep occurring here. I am assured that, even without this nasty bug, people usually get sick from this beam treatment. As long as its killing the cancer, I'll deal with it.

Have a good week everyone.


Nick said...

Dan -

I know you and Susan have been going through hell. Fortunately, so is the cancer!!!! I look forward to a day in the not-too distant future when we both see clearly that all of this ordeal was worth it.

You are both in our thoughts and prayers -- hang in there and I hope you can at least take some grim satisfaction from knowing that as sick as you feel, the cancer feels sicker.

Feel better, and as for the cancer cells, give 'em hell!


Howard said...


Very good news! Keep it up.

Looking forward to when we can all get together again and celebrate your clean bill of health.

As always let me know if there is anything I can do for either of you.


Brett said...

Thanks for the update, Dan! I checked a few times each day this weekend, waiting with baited breath for this news. Such a relief. Now get some sleep!

Ingrid said...

Great to read, that you see your first results.
Also the white cells will slowly wake up. Imagine how much work your body is evolving now. Continue to be patient and try to sleep those few hours, or minutes you're allowed to.
The light on the horizon is getting brighter. The sun is slowly raising again.

Love to you and Susan with neverending strength and power,

sigun said...

Dearest Dan,
First thing I did when arriving home from the Holy Land tonight was to check your blog. Although you are feeling terrible, your results are encouraging and that is the most important thing. Did you feel that we -- all 39 pilgrims -- were praying for you all at the same time?? Bises, Sigun.