Cancer levels have spiked, treatment likely this Fall

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Sad news everyone. My cancer levels have spiked and my specialist feels that cancer treatment will be necessary if my blood test in October shows an increase in my igG levels again.

Sept 2012
46.8 igG
43.2 Beta II
118 Hemoglobin
3.1 White blood cells
1.1 Neutrophil
175 Blood platelets

June 2012
35.9 igG
35.4 Beta II
121 Hemoglobin
2.3 White blood cells
162 Blood platelets

For those that don’t know the full story, check you can read it here. To quickly summarize – I’m a UBC PhD student in Vancouver, illness Canada living with Multiple Myeloma since 2006. I have had a variety of treatments but can no longer be cured of cancer. The most recent treatment was a drug called Revlimid (Aug ’08 – Dec ’09), more about however that drug is likely to have caused increased pressure in my optical nerve resulting in a stroke and TTP (a rare blood disorder affecting 3-4 people a year in this province). I spent 12 days in hospital and have been off cancer drugs since that time as my levels have slowly rose.

Ideally you want to resist putting someone like myself back on cancer drugs only as a last resort as my options have become more limited and it is unknown what adverse side effects I will have on this new drug. It looks like that moment has arrived.

There are a variety of options I have at this moment, none of the good. I’m a single PhD student living alone in Vancouver so I have to balance alot of different issues on how I should proceed. At this time, I’m going to stick with my studies and hope that the side effect of chemo/cancer treatment is minimal on my body and energy levels. This will be my 4th cancer treatment and I am worried about how my body will react this time around. Also being on dexamethasone again is something I really dislike. It bloats my body and adds alot of fat to my face. I will continue to focus on working out as much as possible because multiple myeloma affects my bones and I don’t want them to become brittle.

So this time I’m going to use cancer treatment as an opportunity to educate. Anyone that has questions about what it is like to live with cancer, what cancer treatment is like, what side effects I am facing, please contact me. I will be using social media such as twitter, youtube, flickr and Pinterest to share my life on cancer drugs. I’m focused on remaining positive and I love using photography to help with my own happiness, which is challenging sometimes living with cancer. I still believe my SuperBetter photography project lowered my cancer levels, enhanced my love of photography, and taught me to be creative again.

The road ahead may be dark but I know with the help of my friends and remaining positive about life, I will survive.

Cancer levels have spiked, 4th round of treatment expected

About tyfn

From December 2019 I've been on Darzalex (daratumumab) IV chemo with Velcade (Bortezomib) injection chemo + dexamethasone. Have Multiple Myeloma + anemia, a rare incurable cancer of the immune system. Life goal: To spread awareness about Multiple Myeloma through my self-portraits. UBC MSc Grad.
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2 Responses to Cancer levels have spiked, treatment likely this Fall

  1. Cara says:

    Great video and post Phillip! Thanks so much for you honesty and for sharing your journey. You’re a truly incredible and selfless person for helping to educate others on what it’s like living with cancer, whether it be good, bad or ugly! All the best and I look forward to future updates (and photos!)

  2. Pingback: Got my flu shot, waiting for monthly blood test results - Fade to Play

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