Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lot-O-Numbers


So it took an extra week for the lab techs to determine they were "Unable to Quantitate" my M-spike. Seeings how I started with "None" I should not try to quantify "Unable to Quantitate". My official clinical trial "Response Report" summarizes the findings as "Stable Disease".

Now to add a nice twist (or rant) to all this. My lovely mutation does not express an M-spike and therefore watching it is a stupid idea. Name calling is inappropriate though. So I watch the levels of a particular light chain protein which is monitored with a serum free light chain assay or a similar urine electrophoresis free light chain test. Over the last 2+ months my expression of lambda free light chains has dropped from about 1500 to 1000 (mg/dL) after a trend of doubling every 2 months previously.

I'm going with the optimistic perspective on the "Stable" interpretation.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hot Flashes

I now refer to a Velcade cycle as a course. Not that I have learned anything, but as a token of a new found appreciation for a woman's monthly course. No my hot flashes are not accompanied by cramps unless the precursor to the powerful room clearing almighty wind counts. There are no unprovoked emotional expressions (at least as far as I'm concerned!) The blood lose is minimal, extremely sanitary (according to the phlebotomist) and so far the anemia is minor. I have learned not to expect any form of compassion or sympathy (especially from men). Proximity to clean porcelain altars is important. (I hydrate like a sea cow, but don't live in my urinal.) Chocolate, a warm bed and a good book help.

As for the boring details: Two courses down with nothing exciting to report other than reporting nothing exciting is exciting to me. Funny how the mundane becomes significant when threatened. My blood counts trend down for 2 weeks and then bounce back during my week off. On Friday every line in my CBC and CMP was within normal ranges. I'll learn next week if any myeloma significant markers have changed.

So, I'm off to see the wizard... with my orange buckets and plump veins.