Saturday, June 15, 2013

June Update

This week we got test results back from blood samples taken on Monday, June 10. One sample was analyzed locally by my local cancer doc, and the other was shipped in a chilled container for analysis by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The local M-spike was 0.8, up from their M-spike of 0.7 in April. The Mayo M-spike was 1.1, down from their reading of 1.3 in May. The samples taken on Monday came from the same arm, at the same time, using just one prick of the needle and tubing. So, the Mayo lab read a little bit higher than the local lab, which is not a big deal.
What all of this means is that the surprisingly high M-spike reading at Mayo in May is probably a valid data point, but it also means that the cancer is not growing at an aggressive rate. The various cancer measurements (M-spike, bone marrow biopsy, and something called kappa free light chains) all tell very different stories, but taking them all into consideration, it is probably safe to say that the cancer is down to 1/5 or ¼ its level prior to the stem cell transplant. That’s not as dramatic a decrease as others have experienced or as we had hoped, but it is still good. If the cancer would stay at that level indefinitely without increasing, that would be wonderful.
The bottom line of all this analysis is that right now I am feeling great (still having to take it a little easy, but feeling great) and I am off of chemotherapy drugs. I now pick up and live my life as close to normal (or maybe a little better than normal) as possible, but we will continue to monitor the cancer every couple of months and hopefully this will last for a long, long time.
Thanks to all for love, prayers and concern.