For the past six months, Dr. Anderson in Minnesota and Dr. Alsina at Moffitt Cancer Center here in Florida have been closely monitoring my IgG kappa paraprotein levels through blood work. After two years of complete response (CR) or remission, my last two lab reports indicated my myeloma might be returning—although the M-spike (the test used to measure paraprotein in your blood, which is an indicator of active myeloma) was still too small to accurately quantitate. My latest labs reveal the inevitable has indeed happened: My M-spike is up to .3. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t earth shattering news—there are many, many multiple myeloma patients who’s cancer is far more advanced or aggressive than mine. But taking a step back, I do find it fascinating how I am reacting to this news. Even though I write about multiple myeloma everyday—and even though I know I still have lots of treatment options to try moving forward—I can still feel my anxiety growing. In a way, it is like my post-diagnostic life is flashing before my eyes. Memories of the sights, sound, smells (and pain) I endured during my early treatments—all which had faded into my distant memory—are vivid and real once again.
I don’t want to be overly dramatic here. But I would like to reflect on my feelings a bit while I get a handle on the implications for my short-term future. I will share my thoughts with you over the weekend.
If you try to feel good and keep smiling, I will too! Pat