Wednesday, November 29, 2017

'Tis the season!

This is the season to give and receive gifts with our loved ones. In my opinion, the greatest gift any of us can receive is good health. Maybe not even great health, but good health; good enough to enjoy life with our loved ones, a walk in the park to enjoy the autumn leaves, a sip of wine and a goodnight kiss.

This is the season to be grateful to have my health, but it is also the season to run around to all my various doctors to get updated on my health status. Today I had a visit with Dr. M, my oncologist.

As I had blood tests a week before, the results were known and available to both of us.

His report to me was short and sweet. He said, approximately, "Well, the numbers are about the same. There is no significant change, so we'll see you in four months!"

That is, indeed, good news. "No change" is a report that I love to hear! "No change" means that I will not be changing my schedule to include three weekly visits to chemo. Best of all, "No change" means that I needn't change my plans to visit with friends and family over this holiday season.

I hope all of you will enjoy life to the fullest this season. I know I will!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Summer follow-up

As I have previously reported, Dr. Hema2 has retired and he referred me to another oncologist who shall be referred to as Dr. M. I met with Dr. M for my usual semi-annual follow-up visit.

I have also reported to you that my essential numbers, IgM and M-spike, continue to creep up. This visit shows the same. Dr. M reports that the M-spike has risen to 0.7 which he classifies as insignificant. However, the IgM number is now about 1200. The expected normal reading is 37-286. An elevated IgM suggests that the immune system is busy fighting an invasion.

Just for reference, when my disease was first discovered, my IgM was an astounding 5,120!

Because of this, Dr. M suggested that we schedule a follow-up visit in three months, rather that the usual six, and take another look at the trend.

Dr. M reported what I consider to be excellent news! He reports that a new, more effective treatment has been released specific to my particular and rare lymphoma. Better yet, it is an oral medication. No half-day visits to the infusion room are required! Woo hoo! It is comforting to know that, as my disease progresses, as we've always known it would, that treatment is now available that is both more effective and easier to tolerate.

My adorable wife and I enjoyed a nice lunch conveniently near the doctor's office with some comfort that any future treatments will likely be easier and more effective than the previous infusions. We will go on a long vacation prior to our next visit and enjoy life to the fullest.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Another great day in the Big City

Today was my regularly scheduled biannual followup visit with Dr. Hema2. I had a complete series of blood tests about a week ago.

First of all, he reports that my M-spike number was about 0.5. He said that it was only slightly increased from the previous 0.25 more or less we had seen for the last several years. It sounds like it has doubled, however, the doctor described it as a miniscule increase.

Once again, he gave me the usual disclaimer talk. He said that the numbers will eventually increase to the level where further treatment is recommended. As every lymphoma patient and every case is different, he hasn't any guess as to when "eventually" may be. The good news, no, the great news, is that it isn't today!

As he is retiring, we discussed transferring my case to another doctor. Thankfully, this doctor will be much closer to our home. He is actually in the same county! I will soon have a Dr. Hema3!

As is usual, my beautiful wife and I celebrated a great check-up with a great lunch at The Good Mexican Place. Any day that bypasses the infusion room in favor of a burrito and a beer is a great day!