Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Cheer

It has been close to 9 months since I last felt like posting anything. This clinical trial has been relentless as so many are with all the testing and documentation. There is enough cancer in my life - I don't need to blog about it as well. In short I'm still bouncing around on MLN8237. Disease assessment (re-staging) is every 6 weeks (2 cycles). The astonishing 75% response after cycle 6 has held. My numbers fluctuate a lot which I can't correlate with anything in particular. The doubling of a marker after a 75% response is still well below baseline levels.

I can now cruise through the Holidays and that dreaded 6 year MM anniversary and hit the 1 year mark on this trial before my next assessment.

Happy Holidays :-)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Status Quo

It would be nice to say something like gone, vamoose, finished, cured, but alas I settle for stable. There was some rather modest bone improvement according to the radiologist who read the MRI but other than that - boring.
Aside from the sleepy feeling (and dopey and grumpy demeanor and sneezy fits) I'm happy the doc was not bashful and signed off on another 2 cycles and a restaging party to follow up with. Soon the magic mirror will reveal the fairest drug of all and we can all live happily ever after.


Monday, February 07, 2011

Random Number: 8237

How is it that Millennium landed on number 8237 for the designation of the investigational drug I happen to be taking? How is it that the DNA mutation dice I rolled happened to spell myeloma? How is it that of the long list of just likely side effects, hair loss is the only one I've really noticed? (The low white cell counts though significant are not noticeable.) How would I know if my cognition is amiss? Why is it that perceived randomness is rarely actually random? I will chalk the latter up to ignorance of which I am masterful. The new found affinity with Uncle Fester might be clue. I'm not getting it though.
Lets hope that my mutant B-cells just happen to be expressing Aurora A Kinases and the MLN8237 is obliterating them because of it. A random mutation for which even Uncle Fester would be pleased. The plethora of fluids I'll leave behind tomorrow at the lab should help cure that ignorance. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Aurora, goddess of the dawn, renews herself every morning and flies across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun. With the aid of MLN8237 She flies through my blood each morning selecting only those cells with aberrant expression of Aurora A kinases, disrupting their assembly of the mitotic spindle apparatus, disrupting chromosome segregation, and inhibiting myeloma cell proliferation. Technical musing that add to the mystique of the novel drug I'm testing. Although feeling drugged drags up all kinds of cancer sediment this dip in the treatment pond has been rather mild.
Every morning was a cheerful invitation
to make my life of equal simplicity,
and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.
I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks.
I got up early and bathed in the pond;
that was a religious exercise,
and one of the best things which I did.
Walden, Henry David Thoreau