Week 139 of chemo complete: Making sense of my spiked cancer levels

Apologies for not sharing blood test results for a while. I needed clarification from my Myeloma Specialist after viewing my Aug, Sept, and Oct results. Unfortunately, I have spiked cancer levels (m protein value). My Oct results show my cancer levels jumped up to between 5 to 6. Recall, that in July we stopped dexamethasone (dex) with my Pomalyst chemo as my Glaucoma Specialist found eye damage.

As I’ve stated before, I think of dex as strawberry jam and Pomalyst as peanut butter. A peanut butter + jelly sandwich tastes better than a peanut butter sandwich alone. Dex + Pomalyst were effective together at keeping my cancer levels stable – since Jan 2017 around 3. We will now determine how effective Pomalyst is alone.

I have a less common type of multiple myeloma, making it more difficult to get an actual m protein value during blood tests. Ideally, the next 3 tests will show that my cancer levels have found a new stability on Pomalyst chemo alone (preferably in the 5 to 6 range).

If my cancer levels continues to spike, we will have to determine the best course of action during my next appointment in the new year.

Thanks for your support and encouragement!

M protein (g/L) – 0 is best
Oct = between 5 to 6
Sept = less than 7.7
Aug = value missing
July = 3.0
June =3.2
May = value missing
Apr = 3.0
Mar = 3.0
Feb = 3.5
Jan 2017 = 3.3
Feb 2015 (pre chemo/dex) = 36.1

My Hematology profile (how my body responds overall to being on treatment) looks good.

Hematology Profile
Date WBC Hemoglobin Platelet Count Neutrophils
Reference Range 4.0 – 11.0 135 – 170 150 – 400 2.0 – 8.0
Oct 2017 4.0 122 253 2.0
Sept 2017 4.4 126 285 2.6
Aug 2017 4.7 126 284 2.6
Jul 2017 4.6 136 323 3.6
Jun 2017 5.2 131 312 4.3
May 2017 5.1 132 303 4.1
Apr 2017 6.6 127 294 3.7
Mar 2017 5.1 130 303 4.2
Feb 2017 4.8 132 324 3.6
Jan 2017 4.8 136 304 3.7
Dec 2016 6.7 128 303 3.4

Week 139 of chemo complete - Making sense of my spiked cancer levels

To recap: On Sunday, October 8th, I completed Cycle 35 Week 3. I have Multiple Myeloma and anemia, a rare cancer of the immune system. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells that affects the plasma cells, a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. These plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. As a blood cancer, it is incurable, but treatable. Since February 9th 2015, I have been on Pomalyst and dexamethasone chemo treatment (Pom/dex). On July 16th, my dexamethasone treatment ended, due to eye damage, reported by my Glaucoma Specialist, from long-term use.

Weekly chemo-inspired self-portraits can be viewed in my flickr album.

StevestonMay 2014: Steveston

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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