Despite the title of this blog entry, Gretchen and I had a good visit with Dr. Richardson on Monday. Fortunately, my primary numbers are still good as I start my maintenance Cycle 44. I did notice, as I have in previous visits, that my bilirubin number is high. Normally, it should be <1.2, but mine was up to 1.8! Some of my previous visits also showed high bilirubin numbers.
Since bilirubin is associated with the liver, I have been concerned that I might have some liver malfunction. Considering the amount of alcohol I have imbibed over the years, I'm surprised it works at all! Previously, when this number was high, Mary has told me that it is no problem because all my other liver functions are normal. But when I brought this up to Paul on Monday, he casually said "Don't worry, you have Gilbert's Disease", as if I should have known this all along. Oh really? What's that? All I need is another disease, right? Anyway, he said it is no problem.
So I did a little research. It turns out that it is a benign disorder of elevated bilirubin which has no serious consequences. I found that those who have this Gilbert's Syndrome may suffer from mild jaundice. So if I look a little yellow to you, now you know why (I'm not saying that I'm a chicken). I also learned that this condition is associated with a much lower risk of Coronary Artery Disease. Well that's comforting. Maybe this is good news after all. Not to worry, right?
As for the MMRF Boston 5K Run/Walk event, Pam's Team Epic for Bill has started out well. I'm gratified that there have been some very generous donors. I thank all of you who have contributed so far! We have raised almost $2,500 to date, but we still have a long way to go to get to our fundraising goal of $10,000. I think it would be awesome to raise that much money to fund MM research. Those of us with MM depend on continued research to find the medicines that will either control or hopefully cure our disease. I would appreciate it if you would contribute and reach out to others who might be interested in contributing to this cause and/or joining us in this event. Thank you in advance!
I have started going back to the gym to train for this event. Right now I am beginning interval training combining walking with running to see if I might be able to actually run rather than walk in this event. I've been wearing a knee support to see if that helps. I'm just starting, so I don't know where this might go, but I think it would be really great if I could actually run for 3K if my knees hold out. If not, I will at least walk or crawl, but I'm determined to do it.
I'm really concerned about my favorite bloggist, Pat Killingsworth. He has been a constant source of inspiration to me and many other MM patients over the past years. He has suffered myriad setbacks along the way, but he manages to blog on a daily basis no matter how badly he feels. We are planning to visit him in the beginning of April for his annual Pat's Beach Party in Amelia Beach, Florida. I'm really looking forward to meeting him face-to-face for the first time.
In the last few days, however, he has had some serious setbacks and has been in the emergency room for complications from his dual tandem stem cell transplants a few months ago. All of us faithful followers are holding our breaths hoping that he makes it through this difficult stage. Here is a link to his blog: http://multiplemyelomablog.com/. Here's to you, Pat!
Pat is one of the reasons that I titled this blog "Cancer Sucks". There is more, but I will save that for a later blog.