There has been a lot of medical activity the past couple of months. On the positive side, I had a full skeletal (X-ray) survey performed in September, the first since diagnosis 5 years ago. It showed that there continues to be no deterioration of bone due to the disease.
On the not-so-positive side, the M-spike (indicator of cancer level) has increased to 2.0. We had set 2.0 to 2.5 as the range for when I would need to resume chemotherapy. Although we were expecting this, it is a few months sooner than I was expecting. I saw the cancer doc on Wednesday. He says I am looking great, but's it's time for me to get my game plan on for resuming chemo.
To that end, Carol & I had already scheduled a trip to the Mayo Bros. Clinic in Rochester, MN, the week of Thanksgiving, to consider an alternate method of treatment there. Originally, I thought I would have to enter a clinical research study to get the treatment I want, but it now seems that I may be able to get it through conventional means. It would be a stem cell transplant, but unlike transplants available locally, the end result would be "durable remission," whereby the cancer is still there, but at a low level that does not increase, unlike my cancer has done the past few years. Anyway, Carol and I will go and talk, and see what results.
If I do go the Mayo route, I will need to spend some time up there next winter, and Carol would take a leave of absence to go with me. If I choose to continue my treatment path of the past few years (which has not been a bad path), I will likely still wait until January to resume chemo due to insurance reasons.
That's about it in a nutshell. Sorry this is so long, but a lot has happened. As always, I appreaciate your love, prayers, friendship, encouragement and concern. - Daryl