Sunday, May 29, 2016

Good news, bad news, all kinds of news

Thank you for your faithful prayers in my regard. Here is what has transpired of late:
  • Good news: The cancer-measuring paraprotein screen (used to be M-spike) is down from 1.2 last month to 0.7 this month. This is less than 1/6 of what it was when it hit its all-time high of 4.6 just 4 months ago in late January. On this past Monday, I began round # 3 of the chemo, and we are hopeful that it will be the last for this time. It would be great to be done with Revlimid/Dexamethasone after only 3 months this time, as compared to the 14 months it took last time. 
  • Not really news: The chemotherapy is just as tough this time as it was in 2009-2010, but that is hardly "news." Maybe a little tougher since I am older, coming off or some rough treatments, and have a much more demanding job than I did back then. It is a roller coaster ride with good days and bad every week; today is a pretty good day.
  • Bad news: As of the latest doctor visit and blood sampling, the bone marrow has not rejuvenated to produce good blood, especially red blood cells, and that is causing serious anemia. Consider that on Feb. 9, 70% of my bone marrow was occupied by cancer cells. We have killed off a lot a cancer, but the good bone marrow hasn't re-established and  started making good blood yet.  The anemia causes fatigue, lack of energy, shortness of breath, swelling, etc. I have started back to the gym, however, walking and "running" in the pool and even swimming short distances, and I think it is helping a lot.
  • Other news: On Friday evening, 5/13, I took an ambulance ride to the ER because I was having a strong arterial fibulation (all 4 chambers of the heart beating rapidly, all at once, no regular rhythm), accompanied by chest pain, tightness of chest, shortness of breath, and pain in some extremities. I suspect it was due to the meds I had been taking, but cannot definitively prove it. After an hour, Carol got me to go to the Fire Station around the corner, and they got me to go to the ER. Prior to leaving the station, however, they gave me a shot of a medicine that got me stabilized.  The ER kept us for 4 hours running tests and things before we left for home at 3:15 AM. I have done some follow up tests with a cardiologist, but the cause of the fibulation still has not been determined.
Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement on my behalf.