Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Test Results

Hello All!  I’ve been so busy living that I’ve fallen a little behind updating you on my health progress.  As I’ve mentioned, I don’t spend much time thinking about my disease any more.

Last week, I had my blood drawn and my results continue to improve.  My white cells, hemoglobin and platelets all increased.  At this point, I think the only number that is out of range is my hemoglobin and each month it continues to move in the right direction.  Why do we care about all these numbers increasing?  We care because these improvements indicate that my bone marrow is functioning and that most likely means that I have less cancer.  If my cancer was growing, there wouldn’t be room in the marrow for these new cells to exist.  That’s what happens with myeloma – the plasma/cancer cells crowd out the good cells such as red and white blood cells.
My IGA, however, moved in the wrong direction again.  It’s not what we want to see but, considering my other improvements, Dr. Gonzalez is optimistic.  We discussed my energy level (good) and a few other things and he thinks I’m fine.  He said IGA will often bounce around on his myeloma patients and he shared the story of another myeloma patient who came to him with advanced disease 18+ years ago whose IGA has fluctuated by several thousand points over the years.  For those of you reading who have myeloma, you may be interested to know that this patient had advanced disease and his oncologist was recommending a bone marrow transplant.  The patient declined and decided to do the Gonzalez protocol.  Almost 20 years later, his hemoglobin remains in the normal range while his IGA jumps around like a ping pong ball.  Dr. Gonzalez has mentioned that my IGA will likely never be in range but it’s not a concern - I can live a long, healthy life with an elevated IGA.  When IGA is elevated it can mean the patient has cancer or it can simply mean that the patient’s existing plasma cells are over-active. 

Next week, I’m heading to NYC for my six month check-up.  I’ve already sent in my hair sample and I am looking forward to seeing if the hair analysis provides some insight as to why my IGA is increasing.
 Wish me luck! (a few prayers wouldn’t hurt either)