Monday, December 28, 2009

The "Official" Cycle 1 Numbers

Although blood is drawn weekly, the blood work deemed most important is that which is drawn the first day of the first week of each cycle. So, for the first cycle of revlimid here are the numbers: IGGs 2300 (down from 4600); M protein 1.7 (down from 3.0). We are all quite encouraged by this response. Other data is also good. White count is back up to 2.6 from last week's 1.9. Platelets 88 (OK for me). Creatinine is down to 1.1--in normal range again, down from 1.6.

I continue to have trouble with the revlimid, such as nausea, vomiting, headache, and fever. These seem to occur during the first week of the cycle and then decrease. It all feels manageable in light of the Arkansas experience as well as the progress being made.

I asked Rifkin today how I could have such a good response to one drug, when 15 high dose drugs were basically ineffective. His response: "That just shows you how much we don't understand about myeloma." I also asked if my response was such that I might have other options, rather than another transplant. The answer: "No." He explained that he hopes to have my myeloma low and stable enough such that I will be a perfect candidate for the transplant. Trying some other treatment which might not work could put me in a position where I would no longer be a candidate for transplant and then I would be out of options. I was close to that upon returning from Arkansas when my red cells, white cells, and platelets were all so low. If they hadn't recovered to the degree they have, I couldn't have a transplant.

I'll probably go through one or two more cycles, then we'll be off to M.D. Anderson. Still no word on which brother gets the privilege of being my donor. Happy New Year everyone. 2010 is just around the corner.
Dan

6 comments:

Arlene said...

Great Great news!! Love you all. Arlene and Jimmy

Nick said...

Great news, Dan! I'm so glad that you are responding to the Revlimid -- I hope the nausea is a passing thing. Perhaps it is just a sign that your cancer REALLY doesn't like what is happening! :)

Happy New Year to you and your family -- here's hoping that 2010 is a much better year than 2009, and that you breeze through these remaining cycles and the transplant, on your way to a long and much healthier life!!!!

Jason said...

Hi Dan. I was recently diagnosed and would love to talk to you at your convenience about your treatment history (including in Arkansas, where I am considering going for treatment). You can call me at 310-344-6186, or send me a text message with your phone number and I will call you back. Best wishes and happy holidays. Jason

tim's wife said...

This is so great. Love to hear this kind of stuff. Congrats
and Happy New Year!

Seal Family said...

Happy New Year to all of you. Love The Seal Family

Phil Brabbs said...

Straight DOMINATION Dan! I too got hit very hard with vomiting following Cycle #2 of my treatment which included 25mg of Revlimid. Constipation has been the other big hitter, but after the first two cycles, my body seems to know how to handle it. To Nick's point, I actually think the rough side affects indeed show that the Myeloma is getting dominated. Oddly enough, the less side affects I have been feeling, the slower my number have been dropping.

Keep rockin it,

Phil