January 22, 2007

The doctor watches several cancer markers. Lambda light chains, which can destroy kidneys and other tissue, had been creeping up. The “M” spike (SPEP), a good indicator of tumor burden, had also reached the highest level ever, and beta-2 microglobulin was trending upward. Therefore, at my last visit, the doctor prescribed thalidomide, one 50 mg capsule per day for 28 days.

This visit to the doctor was frankly a little disappointing. Lambda light chains appear to be down, though we can’t be sure because they did not perform the most definitive FreeLite test last month. Other indicators, such as the “M” spike and IgG measurement, actually seem to indicate a slight increase in the tumor burden.

So we’ll do another 28 days of thalidomide, starting tonight, and see what happens. The last time I took thalidomide we got uncertain results after the first month, but in the end we achieved some stability in the disease. That’s the hope.

The good news is that there is no rash! The only significant side effect from the treatment has been a low morning heart rate, as low as 36 where 48 is normal for me. But I feel no lightheadedness from that, so I’ll just keep monitoring it.

Related links:

          My Myeloma A discussion of my myeloma, not very technical.

          Test Result Table Mine. Best with a wide browser window. Very “technical.”

          Treatment Table Also mine, not technical. Will be updated ...