I had my regular visit with the cancer doc this afternoon. The cancer is continuing to show the same rate of very slow, but consistent, growth that it has demonstrated since discontinuing chemotherapy 18 months ago. The doctor knows and concurs with my treatment goals - to stay on my feet and working for as long as possible - so the visit was fairly short and amicable.
This approach of treating, but not attempting to eradicate, the cancer and then allowing the body to recuperate before fighting the cancer again, runs counter to literature published by pharmaceutical companies, but is hailed by some doctors and by many patients with myeloma and other forms of incurable cancer. Attending the funeral last week of a friend who died from myeloma was a somber, but not daunting, reminder of the high stakes being played here.
At current rate of cancer increase, my assessment (not the doc's) is that I should be able to continue to stay off of chemotherapy throughout 2012, but may likely have to resume at the start of 2013.
Thanks for your friendship, caring, encouragement and prayers. To say they mean a lot is a tremendous understatement.