Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hot Damn!

No cancer progression. That's the good news. All tests came in and nothing points to cancer progression. My 24 total protein number has been inching up for the past few months. It could be mean nothing or it could mean something. But the plan of attack is to keep with my maintenance program and continue to watch everything.  As for my other tests...all good. Bone marrow biopsy shows less than 10% plasma cells. That's awesome. When diagnosed that number was 80%. Berenson said if I didn't have myeloma that the 10% won't even make him blink.  All my infectious disease tests were negative. Thanks goodness. For a fleeting moment we thought that the visit to the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary might have given me some exotic vrius. But no. How unfortunate that would have been. I develop an appreciation/obsession with goats and I catch some crazy disease from them. But all clear. So we'll still see a goat in my yard some day. My creatine is still below 4. My kidneys aren't reflecting increased myeloma cell production.  And my skeletal survey aka full body xrays head to toe showed no lesions, no fractures, no nothing.  All great news.

Remember I was having night sweats, fever and then even day sweats. A couple of weeks ago I was drenched with sweat while sitting in a couple of meetings. Not good. But I haven't had any fevers or sweats in about a week.  My energy is coming back. I'd been pretty fricking tired. I haven't exercised in about 3 weeks. That sucks.

This past week I was pretty sure it was cancer progression. I had mentally prepared myself for it. I was ready to re-engage for the fight. I'm not real good with uncertainty. I'm a bit of  black and white person. You're with me or against me. Anyhow, I got myself to an ok place about cancer progression because then I'd know what's happening and I'd deal with it.  So now I'm in that netherworld that myeoma patients face. Thursday it's back to chemo and I'll try to ride to work this week, so I'll get going in the routine again and all is good.

A friend and fellow patient, Pat, recently relapsed. Pat does a lot of cure talk panels and has written books about myeloma. He's my go to expert. Here's his latest post about his relapse.

It's interesting that Pat is thinking about what might have caused his relapse. I've thought a lot about what might have caused my myeloma. Who knows.  This past week, while I waited for my test results, I did do a lot of thinking about my role in this here world. I had kind of gotten past that. But it reared its ugly head. What am I doing? Why I am toiling away in an office when I have a life to live? How can I give back more? I look at some of my fellow patients and I think, wow, they're doing so much. They have such positive attitudes. I feel a bit loser like. Anti-warrior if you will. Pity party!!!   I've been walking around all pissed off for a week or so. I hate that. I've got to work on my attitude. I've mentioned before that I tried a support group a couple of times. I hated it. Just a bitch session. I don't need that. I have enough of a bitch session going on in my head every day.  But I will also say, it's awesome having myeloma friends out there. It really helps. There's a mindset involved here and I think they get it. Maybe I need a myeloma buddy near me. Someone I can vent to.  I don't know maybe I need a therapist.  A non-partial listener,

I've also been bugged by this government shutdown. When I thought about cancer returning, I think about what if I lost my job because I couldn't work? What if I lost my insurance? I could be screwed. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act though, insurance companies can't deny me and others because of pre-existing. conditions.  Admittedly I have not read the Act. Has anyone? But what's so wrong with helping out others? Frankly, when I hear people blast Obamacare, I take it as a personal slap in the face. Yes, I'm liberal, but to me health care and the environment are two issues that shouldn't be political. Not to be dramatic but if people are ok with people who are sick not being able to get insurance, then I hope at least you send flowers to our funerals. Ok, that's my vent and political statement.

Tomorrow is a new day. I'm getting my head right. Focused on health and positivity. Oh and keeping my fingers crossed that our contractor picks up the pace. Slow, slow, slow. ARGHHHH

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Berenson Oncology Success Rate

 Some reading about my myeloma specialist's success rate. A press release and an article from Targeted Oncology.