No graphs this time, just more good news. Of the numbers we are tracking and that are closely tied to MM getting dominated, all are trending down...which is the direction we want them to go!
The M-protein is down to 0.8 (3.0 to 1.9 to 1.2 to 1.0, now 0.8). If it falls another half a point I will be in Very Good Partial Response (VGPR), which would be outstanding heading into my first, of possibly two transplants.
For those MM enthusiasts out there:
IgG continues to drop, it's now 1120 (was 1350)
Kappa free light was 20.1, now 10.6. The K/L ratio went from 100 to 50.
Total Protein is 6.6...Perfect! (Was 8.2 at diagnosis which tipped off my hematologist)
People continue to ask how the treatment is going and I can honestly say that going through hell in cycles #1 and #2...read the old posts if you don't remember, has made Cycle #3 and #4 seem like cake. I am now onto #5, which seems to be following suit!
So what does Phil want to happen next?
I want to see my M-protein to continue to get dominated. What would make me REALLY HAPPY is to see it at 0.3 after chemo cycle #5, but I would probably be pumped to see it at 0.5 as well. Those numbers would encourage me to go after another round of chemo to try to knock this thing out of the park even before my first transplant.
I want to see my kappa to continue to drop. These light chains dominate the kidneys and are a key indicator on how the disease is doing. The chemo is working a number of the kappa, so I just ask that it keep receiving the domination!
I want to have peace about when to start my first transplant and peace about whether or not to do a second one. There are financial ramifications to two transplants which don't need much discussion on our blog, but just a reality that we can't avoid. One important note is that it seems that both my oncologist and BMT doc may agree to harvest and collect my stem cells after Cycle #5. I still have to do a little more research to understand whether it's better to reduce the M-protein before collection or not. Unfortunately the chemo bombs affect the good bone marrow too, so the docs want to make sure they get enough collection for two transplants. Being young, I don't think that will be a problem and I still need to trend my blood counts (white, red, platelets) to verify that my counts haven't really gone down much during treatment.
I want my Wolverines to compete for a Big Ten Championship again.
Thanks everyone for the prayer, support and such kind words! There's nothing but good news following Cycle #4 and we expect in three weeks when sharing results from Cycle #5 it will be nothing but the same.