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Advice Is Easy To Give–Not So Easy To Follow!

Home/Advice Is Easy To Give–Not So Easy To Follow!

Advice Is Easy To Give–Not So Easy To Follow!

This past week I questioned the need of some myeloma patients to become overly technical and obsess over their test results and labs. “Try and live for today” I wrote. “Don’t just watch and wait–Live!” My point? Once you are diagnosed with multiple myeloma, there isn’t a lot a person can do to change their lot in life. Like anyone else, you play the hand you are dealt, select your best treatment option given what you know at the time and get embrace your “new normal.” Advice like this is easy for an outsider to give–or for someone like me that has been in CR so long he starts to forget what it was like to be up all night the day before an oncology appointment! Other people rarely understand the anxiety and angst associated with hanging on the results of each month’s blood test. Will I need to switch to another type of chemo? Re-consider undergoing a stem cell transplant? Or, worse yet, begin to realize that the drug you were using was your last, best option–and your life may be coming to an end. Last week I was the advice giver.

Today everything changed.

For the past 18 months my M-spike results had come back “No evidence of any abnormal protein.” And every two months the news was good and the report the same. At one point the pathologist seemed annoyed with our testing frequency and wrote, “No need to submit new samples for at least six months.” In other words, I was fine, so don’t bug him! How cool was that!

Today everything changed.

The report read: “INTERPRETATION – Prior IgG Kappa paraprotein in far gamma region faintly visible today. M-spike too small to accurately quantitate given the polyclonal background. Daniel Hoefner, PhD”

“Faintly visible today?” No big deal, right? But before there was nothing. Nada. Now there is something, even if it is too faint to measure. Maybe the myeloma is back, maybe not. Maybe it was never really gone at all. It sure would be nice to know! Maybe one of the new, more sensitive tests would help me understand exactly where my disease progression is.

My apologies, guys! But I’m still going to try and follow my own advice. The velocity of my cancer has always been very slow. My oncologists guess I likely had myeloma for many years before my diagnosis. I have time (thank God!) to watch and wait and live my life. Two months from now, my M-spike may have re-appeared–or maybe this was a false alarm! Either way, there isn’t a thing I can do about it!
Feel good and keep smiling! I’m going to try! Pat