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24 01, 2014

Even experienced myeloma survivors have bad days

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Sometimes our bodies don't react to medications the way we have come to expect.  Yesterday was an unsettling and unpleasant reminder of that. Last week I received some pretty good news.  My monoclonal protein level--measured by my M-spike--remained stable.  Wednesday I saw my medical oncologist, Dr. Malhotra, then continued on to infusion for my sub-q

9 08, 2013

Wise words help me face my next round of treatment: CHEMO IS YOUR FRIEND!

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Yesterday I wrote about how I was dreading starting another chemotherapy treatment cycle.  Why now?  I have undergone seemingly countless cycles in the past—on and off; mostly on—for the past six years.  Could it have something to do with losing my father, or other stressors in my life?  As difficult as the past two weeks

12 07, 2013

I survived another “triple witching therapy hour!”

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What the heck is a "triple witching hour?" According to Mark Koba, Senior Business Editor for CNBC, "Witching hours occur when financial contracts—specifically options and futures—end on the third Friday of a month.  Traditionally, all contracts expire in the same hour—thus the name witching hour—usually the last hour of trading." And the end of the

2 06, 2013

Elotuzumab study results “promisingly murky”

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For me, one of the most frustrating part of reading abstracts and following oral presentation myeloma results at meetings like ASCO and ASH is that you are rarely comparing apples to apples.  Are study subjects "heavily pretreated," "refractory," or both.  And what about "relapsed?"  Sometimes some of these terms are used interchangeably.  Sometimes not.  Let

19 03, 2013

Responding to IMiD and proteasome inhibitor may be game changer

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Friday I left everyone hanging when I wrote:  Monday I am going to explain how this seemingly mundane result–a 0.2 M-spike–may have been the most fateful news I have ever received as a soon to be six year multiple myeloma survivor.  I know I said Monday.  But I couldn't resist yesterday's fun and frivolous, self

10 03, 2013

Demon Dex strikes again!

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Hello All!  I have been battling computer issues this weekend, along with unexpectedly difficult dex-related side effects.  Life can be challenging! I haven't been able to solve the computer glitches (I'm using the laptop I use when I travel to write this) but the dex driven inflammation that was giving me fits Saturday has improved

16 02, 2012

Medical Update: New hiccup threatens to disrupt Pat’s therapy

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Can't a guy catch a break? I received my Velcade sub-q injection yesterday--and I took my 10, 4 mg dexemethasone pills right before bed--officially kicking-off the next of two, six week RVD cycles. Well not exactly.  Actually, following a seven day break, I started taking 25 mg Revlimid capsules again Sunday night.  Sometimes my individual

23 12, 2011

As multiple myeloma patients live longer, secondary cancer risks need to be addressed…

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Yesterday I asked if this secondary cancer issue "is much to do about nothing, or something that concerns you enough to keep you up at night?" Based on the response, I have to conclude the answer is "NO!" I understand that this isn't a very pleasant topic to be discussing right before Christmas.  We can

18 12, 2011

Data presented at the IMF’s Journalist Workshop takes me on an emotional roller-coaster ride (Part Three)

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If your read Friday's post about my emotional evening at the IMF's International Jounalist event last week, you will probably recall how my roller-coaster "crashed down" after hearing about an unexpectedly short, 8 month overall survival (OS) benefit from using pomalidomid and dexamethasone after patients became refractory to Revlimid and Velcade. Today let’s work to

23 10, 2011

I’m not going to let a few chemotherapy related side-effects slow me down!

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Consecutive M-spike nonoclonal protein readings of 0.5--and now 0.6--seem to confirm my autologous stem cell transplant failed to vanquish my multiple myeloma. So how did it feel, starting the same Revlimid/Velcade/dexamethasone chemotherapy cocktail I had endured for four, three week cycles prior to my transplant Wednesday? Physically, not so bad. The dexamethasone (Decadron) that is