Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Superb Numbers!

My stem cell transplant in late August did an extremely good job of eradicating the myeloma cells from my system. A November bone biopsy, blood work and urine testing showed my M Spike to be "'not noticeable"and except for a trace IgA protein found by one of the blood tests, I was in complete remission. My oncologist calls it "near complete remission". As the transplant continues to take affect, and the Revlimid does its job, all traces of the IgA protein should be gone soon. All in all great news!

On November 2nd, I started my maintanence chemo, a 10mg pill of Revlimid each night. So Wednesday morning as I walked into the Cancer Center of North Carolina, I was a bit apprehensive about how my system would react to this new cancer drug, as it does have some side effects, but also can adversely affect the blood numbers, reducing key levels of hemoglobin, white blood cells, etc. The last ten days have been uneventful once my system got over the initial gastro queasy feeling on the first and second days,and after that it has been smooth rashes, nausea, bleeding, upset stomach, etc. that can accompany taking this drug. So if my numbers looked good, then my introduction to Revlimid would be deemed a success.

The numbers were great: Hemoglobin at 13.6, WBC at 6.5, Platlets at 215K. I remembered a memorable quote from my family doctor "You are in great shape for the shape that you are in!" It looks like Revlimid and I are going to be great friends.

Today (Thursday) I will go to Rex Hospital North Campus for an MRI and a CT scan on my pelvis.  These procedures hopefully will give us a clearer picture of the status of the plasmacytoma that attacked and destroyed the lower portion of my sacrum.  The chemo, radiation and stem cell transplant (SCT) procedure killed the tumor, and hopefully my body has begun the process of absorbing the remnants and releasing the nerve roots that are so intensely grouped there on their way to the lower half of my body. Following those procedures, Linda and I will head to the Duke Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic for my four month checkup with Dr. Gasparetto.  Bloodwork followed by a session with Dr. Gasparetto, and we will be home after a long day!

I am extremely grateful for the doctors and nurses that have provided me with such great counseling and treatment over the last eleven months as I battled this cruel adversary. I am also very thankful for my beautiful bride and caregiver who has been a rock throughout this ordeal. Her sacrificial efforts to assist me in so many ways, and do it with such grace and love for me, makes me truly blessed. I am thankful for the many many folks that have prayed for me constantly since the very beginning. What a difference they have made. And I am thankful for the divine intervention that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has provided, time and time again. He has been with us every step of this difficult journey. Praise the Lord!!!! .


  1. I just love what your family doctor said. And great stuff with the numbers and lack of Revlimid side effects! :D

  2. What great news that was!! Best numbers of THE YEAR!! Love you dad!

  3. Fantastic numbers indeed! So grateful that you have done so well through this whole ordeal, and that Revlamid doesn't have the side effects on you that are common! Love you so much. A very thankful Thursday indeed!