7/8 – A Setback

Went for chemo Friday and Saturday at Mt. Sinai. Got a glimpse of my Myeloma markers and we have had a setback. The M Spike is back. After two straight months at zero it measured at .28. Also total protein measured in the urine was higher than normal range.

There are other things going on that would suggest that Myeloma is becoming active again after a short period of remission. I started to notice a little back pain on the 4th of July that has become somewhat more pronounced in the past couple of days.

I spoke with Dr. J yesterday (Sunday) and he said he doesn’t know if its just a blip or something more. He wants to wait for the full Myeloma panel – including the Kappa and Lambda chain – comes back before determining what the next steps should be.

After many, many, many frustrating follow up calls with Hackensack, I am on schedule for stem cell harvest near end of July. We may push this back to get in another cycle or two of Revlimid. I had my best response when I was on the CRD (Carfilzomib, Revlimid, Dexamethasone) regimen. We stopped Rev about a month ago because you need to be off for 30 days before stem cell harvest. Now with all of the delays at Hackensack and with Anthem Blue Cross (don’t get me started on them) my numbers are rising. Perhaps another cycle or two of Rev can get my M Spike back down to zero which would be optimal for stem cell harvest.

I guess my goal now is to keep an even keel. I always knew that this wouldn’t be a straight road to remission. It’s just not that easy. My initial response has been (is) great. I have been at this for 7 1/2 months without any real setbacks. To expect that path to continue unabated would be naive. As I have said a thousand times before, Cancer will fight back – I will fight back harder. Now I need to step up my fight. I’ve got more than enough left in my tank to battle.

Let’s keep it in perspective here – I was diagnosed on 12/1 with an M Spike of 2.76. It has gone straight down every month since with one month unchanged. Now I stand at an M Spike of .28. That is still tremendous progress. 90% better than I was at diagnosis. The trend is your friend as they say and the trend is going my way.

Yesterday began the second phase of a long, long journey toward remission/cure. I woke up, worked out (P90X shoulders and arms), rode my bike to Victor’s baseball game, rode home, did sit-ups and crunches (need to fight Chemo belly as well) and hung out and swam with friends. No pain. No discomfort.

This morning – woke up – 4:30 AM. Coffee, shower and off to work. Normal days. Normal life. Except for the Cancer part – business as usual.

Hoping for good news from Dr. J. Should know more today or tomorrow.

#bradstrong

5 responses to “7/8 – A Setback

  1. Your attitude is dead on target Brad. A minor setback is to be expected. Deal with it in those terms. We are all rooting for you.

  2. As you said, it is all about trends. this is just one number. Stay focused on working out and doing everything you’ve been doing. You’re doing great!

  3. Brad,
    I have sent your site to Mary and Joel Levin. He has been Treated at Hutch, in Seatle and had 2 Stem Cellls. They are in Tucson in the winter, as they r alumni of U.W. I have her email only Please contact these great examples. MaryLevin@gmail.com.
    xoxo Nadine–Aunt DeeDee

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