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Monthly Archives: March 2014

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31 03, 2014

Demystifying MGUS

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A week ago I promised to pass along more information about MGUS and smoldering multiple myeloma.  I hear from readers with both conditions often.  They are often anxious and stressed about their uncertain futures. I understand!  Learning that you have a chance of developing cancer is a frightening thing.  But after researching MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy

28 03, 2014

Great news! RVD is working again!

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It's an awesome Friday morning!  I'm both delighted and relieved.  Delighted that our University of Wisconsin basketball team won again last night, advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight; the Badgers play Arizona Saturday to see which team will advance to the Final Four.  And I'm relieved to report even better news: I learned yesterday

27 03, 2014

Book Review: Integrative Oncology

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Oncology should be more than data, clinical trials and chemotherapy.  With cancer patients living longer, it should also focus on a cancer patient's quality of life. Additionally, who's to say that traditional Western medicine has all of the answers?  Midway through our on-air conversation two months ago, Dr. Donald Abrams mentioned that he and well

26 03, 2014

Integrated Medicine (IM) is changing oncology

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Guidelines for medical standards of care are beginning to include alternatives that aren't always taught in medical school. Herbal Asian medicine, acupuncture, reflexology, chiropractic and a number of other disciplines are slowly being accepted by European and American doctors.  Unfortunately, oncologists have been among the most reluctant to change.  Conservative and data driven, oncologists tend

24 03, 2014

Relapse review: What should Pat do next?

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I hadn't planned to write a follow up post about me today.  But I can tell from the flood of emails and comments I've been getting that some readers are concerned  I'm sitting back and not doing enough to battle my relapse. And there does seem to be some confusion about my treatment plan moving

21 03, 2014

Risk of developing MGUS varies by race and region

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Let's shift gears today and focus on what researchers are learning about a surprisingly high number of people that develop MGUS; a possible precursor to multiple myeloma. I found some fascinating statistics about MGUS in a recent article on Oncology Nurse Advisor.com.  Read it and see what you think: Precursor of multiple myeloma more common

20 03, 2014

Allo transplants an elective procedure? Not for the feint of heart!

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We've been following three different allogeneic (donor) transplant patients this year; Tom, Neil and Jim.  It's a small sample, but it seems to be representative of the risk/reward associated with having one. I thought I would give everyone a chance to take a break and decompress after learning of Neil's passing.  But after touching base

18 03, 2014

Oncology nurses sound off about oral chemotherapy

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Remember Jim Bond?  I featured the long lived multiple myeloma survivor in several Patient Snapshot posts last year.  Last week I heard from his lovely wife and caregiver, Kathleen.  She says Jim is doing great! Apparently the only serious complication resulting from Jim's allo (donor) stem cell transplant a year and a half ago: graft

17 03, 2014

Inside look at MMRF’s ambitious CoMMpass study

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Dr. Sagar Lonial, myeloma specialist and professor at Emory University's School of Medicine in Atlanta, recently wrote a helpful and easy to understand primer about how genetics fit in with today's fast advancing myeloma research and therapy. The lynchpin to fully understanding and implementing cutting edge genetic research: the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation's (MMRF) ambitious

13 03, 2014

Medical Update: no good news yet

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A month ago I wrote a post explaining why my doctors and I had agreed to give Revlimid one more shot before moving on to a new therapy: RVD; do your magic one more time!   It's now been almost six weeks, and I have the first SPEP results since my radiation oncologist discovered several