Friday, April 24, 2009

Cancer Update

Lately, when people have been kind to ask how things are going with the cancer, I've told them that it is like the stalemate that existed in World War I. After 19 months of chemotherapy, I had not made much progress in beating down the cancer, but neither had it progressed against me. We gain or loose a few yards here and there, and stare at each other across the No Man's Land from our trenches. And there is a whole lot of chemical warfare going on.

Yesterday afternoon I received analytic results from a blood sample taken earlier in the week. After my first round (3 weeks on, then 1 week off) on a new medication, Revlimid, my total proteins are down to 8.3 and the all-important M-spike is down from 3.6 to 1.9. For perspective, if I were going in for a regular annual check-up at my family doctor, 8.3 on the total proteins is right on the border line of being in the normal range, and I probably wouldn't get sent on for further testing. On the M-spike (the measure of how many myeloma, or cancer, proteins there are in my blood), you can see the reduction is almost 50%. Further, the side effects of the Revlimid thus far are less severe on me the prior medication, Velcade. Let's hope it continues to be tough on the cancer and not-so-tough on me.

Thanks for your care, love and prayers. Today, we have gained some good yards against the enemy. It feels good, and for this we thank God.