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[ by | Apr 17, 2015 12:36 pm | 20 Comments ]
Letters From Cancerland: “There’s Mayonnaise All Over Cancerland!”

President Carter gave his “Crisis in Confidence” address to the United States in July, 1979. Two days after giving that speech, he stated that the nation had two problems, one of them being “malaise.”

“Malaise” came to be associated with that speech, although Carter never used the word in the actual address. There was an edi­torial cartoon I carried around for years after­wards. The panel showed a reporter coming upon Carter grilling dozens of hamburgers. When the reporter inquired why, Carter shouted “there’s mayonnaise all over the country!” and ran away with a plate of burgers while the reporter shouted after him, “that’s malaise, Mr. President!”

While the cartoon is long gone, the image of Carter shouting “there’s mayonnaise all over the country!” has stuck with me. Lately, it has been ever present as my oncologist, my personal physician, my husband, and I try to sort through the medical enigma known as my myeloma.

I am just finishing my 13th round of Revlimid (lenalidomide), 15 mg, three weeks on, two weeks off, 20 mg of dexamethasone (Decadron) on days 1, 8, and 15 of the three-week cycle. My labs, which are drawn …

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[ by | Apr 14, 2015 11:38 am | 11 Comments ]
Myeloma In Paradise: What If I Were Cured Today?

I find it fascinating that, in the almost three years since I was diagnosed with terminal multiple myeloma, I haven’t until recently begun to daydream seriously about what I would do if I were pronounced permanently cured today.

I’m not talking about remission, substantial clinical response, minimal residual disease, or any of the other “close-but-not-quite-there” phrases our doctors use, but simply “cured.”

I guess it has taken me this long to absorb my status as a cancer patient and to reach a level of comfort in my treatment to …

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[ by | Apr 10, 2015 2:17 pm | 10 Comments ]
Sean’s Burgundy Thread: Today

During a recent multiple myeloma check-up, I was relaxing on the sliding table of a PET scan machine undergoing – surprise surprise – a PET scan.

My oncologist had insisted that it was time for a scan, the clinic happened to have a machine available, and my insurance company was in such a good mood that they had agreed to cover the charges.

Far be it from me to argue, a-PET-scanning I did go!

While not quite as cheery as lounging on a sandy beach sipping tropical libations, my treatment …

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[ by | Apr 8, 2015 6:45 pm | 19 Comments ]
Northern Lights: Six Months Into Restarting Treatment

As you may remember from my November column, I had to re­start treat­ment last fall after my doctor and I had observed a rising trend in my mono­clonal (M) pro­tein and light chain levels over the pre­vious six months.

My doctor put me on 25 mg of Revlimid (lena­lido­mide) daily – a much higher dose than I had taken before – and 20 mg of dexa­metha­sone (Deca­dron) weekly in an effort to push the myeloma back down into another re­mission ... or some­thing close to that.

After being …

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[ by | Apr 7, 2015 6:43 pm | No Comment ] Deutsche Übersetzung
Combination Of Farydak And High-Dose Kyprolis Effective In Relapsed Multiple Myeloma

The results of a small Phase 1/2 clinical trial suggest that a com­bi­na­tion of Farydak and high-dose Kyprolis is effective as a treat­ment for relapsed multiple myeloma.

Participants in the trial were heavily pretreated, having had a median of five previous myeloma ther­a­pies. More than 70 per­cent of the patients, however, had at least a partial re­sponse to the trial regi­men at the target doses established during the trial’s first phase. The estimated two-year overall survival rate among the patients was 67 percent.

A response rate of more than 70 …

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[ by | Apr 4, 2015 5:06 am | 50 Comments ]
Pat’s Place:  Decision Made - I’m Going To Transplant Again

I’m fond of saying, “I still have a number of myeloma ther­a­py op­tions, but none of them are good.” The last part is a re­flec­tion of in­vesti­ga­tional work I’ve done speaking with a number of myeloma experts I know.

For two months, I’ve promised to share which direction my lovely wife, Pattie, and I have decided to go in terms of my next treat­ment. After six months of pros and cons lists, con­ver­sa­tions with readers, family, friends, and other myeloma sur­vivors, we’ve made a decision. We were em­bold­ened after shift­ing through piles of …

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