March 14, 2007

I saw the oncologist/hematologist today, and got the results from last week’s tests.

The Bad News: The bone marrow biopsy performed last Thusday shows about four percent malignant cells in the bone marrow. This is about double the percentage seen in the previous BMB 18 months ago, despite two recent months of treatment with thalidomide.

The Good News :

         That means the "doubling time," a measure of the cancer's aggressiveness, is about a year and a half. This has not changed much, and it is a relatively long doubling time. 

         Four percent is still low. The cancer is unlikely to be hurting me yet. In fact, my body might tolerate two or even three more doublings before bones and organs are affected.

         There are many, many more treatments available. Some may work and some may not, all are toxic in some way, and all eventually stop working. But they offer time.

         Meanwhile, laboratories around the world are working on new treatments, with a view toward making myeloma a chronic disease, if not a curable one.

         The MRI of my lower spine shows no injury in the nerves going to my legs. Furthermore, although the peripheral neuropathy in my right leg is still there, it is not getting worse.

         The CT scan of my skull did not disclose anything that looked like myeloma.

I am continuing to take thalidomide, 50 mg per day. The doctor has modified the regimen, however, from four weeks on and two weeks off, to three on and one off, with monthly monitoring. I’ll see him again in about seven weeks.

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 ...