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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cycle 4 Day 1 (Do-over)

My foot woes continued during the week.  After the first IV antibiotic at DFCI, my foot felt better Wednesday morning, but it gradually got worse again, despite the dicloxacillin antibiotic pills.  My right foot was also bothering me with the same problem, so I wasn't sure which one to limp with the most.  By Thursday night, I was in a lot of pain and I had developed a fever besides.  We were at a hotel in Hartford after visiting Jason and Nadia, so we got a little worried.

I put in a call to Dr. Richardson late Thursday night.  He was asleep at the time and was not on call, so he didn't call back until Friday morning.  Fortunately, my fever was gone by then.  As it turns out, I was supposed to have paged Dr. Paba-Prada, who is on call 24/7.  That protocol was never made quite clear to me before.  This is good to know for the future. 

Anyway, Dr. Richardson prescribed another antibiotic, Avelox, to supplement the first one.  By Saturday morning, nothing had improved, so I paged Paba-Prada.  She suggested I go to an ER for evaluation, so we headed to the Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport.  The attending physician, Dr. McLaulin, was very good and he ordered another IV antibiotic.  That finally seemed to do the trick.  By Sunday morning, both feet felt much better, and they have continued to improve every day.  Today they feel almost back to normal.

Today we we met again with our medical team at DFCI.  Dr. Richardson is out this week, so Dr. Schlossman covered for him.  The news was good all around.  My foot has healed enough that they allowed me to go back on the Clinical Trial again as of today.  But the most exciting news is that the protein pathology report shows that the M Spike has almost disappeared and could not be measured!  Yippee!  This means I have achieved an almost Complete Response (CR) to the treatments.  Kathy Colson and Dr. Paba-Prada were visibly excited by these results.  Kathy said this new MLN 9708 drug is really doing wonders.

Here is a summary table of my test results for the first 3 Cycles:

Test Name Reference Range 8/1/11 8/30/11 9/27/11 10/25/11

Gamma M Spike 0 g/dL 1.96 0.41 0.13 0.0!
IgA 70-400 mg/dL 3180 659 148 80
IgG 700-1600 mg/dL 246 248 292 249
IgM 40-230 mg/dL <5 9 15 28

I still have a ways to go, in that the Immunofixation still shows the presence of a faint M Spike, and my normal immunoglobulins are low, which means my immune system is still weak.  Also, my anemia got slightly worse this past month, and I get tired easily.  But those concerns pale in comparison to knowing that the myeloma cells have been nearly banished from my body!  Not only that, but I'm feeling really good!

I don't think I can say anything more to top that, so I'll just sign off for now.

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