Thursday, January 05, 2012

A Stunning Start to 2012

Received results of last week's blood work. For the first time in at least 18 months, maybe longer, my IGGs have taken a hit. They dropped from 7700 to 4100. The best we've been able to accomplish since I was at MDAnderson was stability. I don't remember any reduction of disease levels since February 2010. I was so surprised that tears came to my eyes as the fight over the last 2 years seemed to be released, at least for a moment. Man, this has been a rough road and it seems that all we're looking for is the smallest progress to keep us going. The regime that has brought down the IGGs is a concoction Rifkin, my doc from MDA who is now at Sloan/Kettering, and a few of their colleagues. No set protocol, just a combination they thought might work: bendamustin, revlimid, dexamethasone, supplemented with numerous transfusions and neupogyn shots. Rifkin is reserved about the results, knowing how difficult my disease is, but nonetheless, we'll start cycle 2 on Monday.

I've become good friends with all the nurses at the clinic and the news of my progress burned through the halls today and I was hit with numerous good wishes from all the nurses who have taken care of me these past years and who have expressed much concern about my well being as we went from one trial to the next, hoping to see some progress.

Julia was with me when I got the news and she, too, showed emotion and relief. When we called Suz all she could say was Oh My God, OMG, OMG.

And so we continue forward. The next month will be spent primarily at the hospital/clinic since the drug combo hits my blood counts pretty hard and I'll need numerous transfusions. My situation is delicate and that's probably why Rifkin is guarded in his reaction. He has done a marvelous job working on the myeloma while at the same time preventing me from getting sick.

We are very grateful for all your support.
Peace love light


Steven L. Ritter said...

I agree about the tearing up... It hit me also... FANTASTIC !!! I'm sooo happy for you !!!

Keep the faith and keep it going.

A prayer or 2 might not hurt.. I'll take that job on.

You have made my day... HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Holyriver said...

Very nice blog.
Happy new year from Italy.

Lorna A said...

What wonderful news to start off the year. Until recently it has felt as if there was nothing but bad news in the blogs I read. So happy for you and your family.

tim's wife said...

WOOHOO!!! How fantastic, Dan. Definitely a great way to start 2012. May that cocktail continue to work its magic for you! Prayers from Jersey where winter has finally hit.

Lovey said...

Happy 2012, Dan! This is wonderful news. Blessings on Dr. Rifkin, Dr. G, their colleagues, the angel nurses and the researchers. We in the Blogoshere are so happy for you!

sigun said...

'Ouf' (a sigh of relief) as we say here!! Keep it up!! Bises, Sigun.

Naeem said...
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Nick said...

This is WONDERFUL NEWS!!!!! Dan, we are so happy for you and yours. You have been through so much and continue to fight with dignity and a grace that is inspiring. May you continue to heal and respond to this therapy -- you remain in our prayers and we are SO PLEASED!!!!


Nick and Jill

Sandy said...

I continue to intend your medical team is finding more rabbits to pull out of the hat on your behalf and I am SO grateful to God for this good news!!!

Ingrid said...

I knew this would come! I always was, am and will be faithful that you will get over this!!! Love to you and Susan

Roobeedoo said...

Fantastic news!
Hope the good effects continue.

Tony Yao said...
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Jill said...

I have been following your blog for a couple years now - and have commented every now and then (my dad had MM). Your courage and will to keep fighting are inspiring! I will pray for continued endurance for you (and Susan).

Jill in AZ

I love this quote:
You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
C. S. Lewis

Tony Yao said...

Dan - the number on my card is in error. the 333 should be 394 instead for my direct line.

sailor said...

Wow, what great news! I continue to pray for every little positive result. Dan, you are an inspiration for us all. Keep up the good fight and know you are loved.