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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Farber Update

Here is one of the pictures of us racing the yacht Dreamcatcher at Block Island Race Week (I'm the geek in the canary yellow).  Jeff, as usual, is crouched over a winch ready to trim the jib, an exhausting job fit only for the young, especially in heavy weather.  I don't think we old farts could have handled it.  It was a chilly day and we were waiting for the rain, which fortunately never materialized.  Despite my not feeling 100% most of that week, I had a great time! 

After not feeling so well a week ago, I have been doing a lot better since.  I feel like I have completely recovered, except I am still more tired than usual.  My blood test results last week were pretty good, except for an exceptionally high reading for alkaline phosphatase, which could indicate either bone or liver problems.  Dr. Guidi wanted to make sure that I got that retested this week.

Yesterday was my monthly visit to the Farber, and I was pleased to discover that all my blood test results had either returned to normal or to my "normally abnormal" range.  My alkaline phosphatase level was back to normal, which was somewhat puzzling.  My nurse, Mary, opined that the previous elevated count may have been caused by some sort of viral infection.'s OK now.  My absolute neutrophil count at 1.36 was below previous months, but might have been even lower if I hadn't taken a week's holiday from the Revlimid.  I am now back on my normal schedule of 5 mg per day of Revlimid.  So far, so good.

I read in the Farber newsletter yesterday that clinical trial data show that long-term therapy with Revlimid is very beneficial for older patients with a form of chronic blood cancer.  While this doesn't necessarily relate directly to MM, many blood cancers show some common characteristics, so I take that as an encouraging sign that my long-term maintenance strategy with Rev is probably a good thing.

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