UPDATE: 2/12/19

Okay, I will organize this as the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good:

  • I just started my second round of chemo yesterday. It went without a hitch, no side effects (so far).
  • I met with my oncologist today. My IgA Free Lambda Light Chain (the type of protein my Multiple Myeloma is over-producing) has now dropped from 2658.9 down to 246.3 mg/liter of blood. A normal person will have 0-25 mg/liter of blood. My change reflects a 92% drop over 4 weeks. Anything that is > 90% is consider remission. However, what we don’t know is if this drop is from 5 rounds of plasmapheresis (which rapidly removes bad protein) or from the chemo. It will take one more round of chemo to know. If the level drops more or plateaus, then we know the chemo is working. If the level shoots back up, then we are in trouble because the chemo is not working, and the kidneys and other organs will be damaged. We would have to switch chemo at that time. The ultimate goal is to get the level as down as far as possible, maybe even to the normal 0-25 mg/liter range. When it bottoms out and plateaus, then I go to the University of Washington’s Stem-cell transplant program. Usually it takes at least 4 rounds of chemo, each round being 4 weeks. So, you can figure that a stem cell transplant would come around mid-May. I would have to be in or near the hospital for 4 weeks.
  • My neurological symptoms, from my renal failure, are diminishing daily, inch by inch and not soon enough.
  • My bad headache, which came on for reasons only God knows, suddenly went away two days ago. Was it answered prayer, something changed in my head? I don’t know. I just wish I could bottle up that cure for my patients. My neck pain is much better too, thank you.
  • I have tentatively scheduled myself to go back to work later this month, in a very part-time capacity.
  • Each day I am feeling stronger, today doing my longest hike, in the snow, of 2 miles.
  • Denise is doing better. She is getting back to work more and more. I wanted to start taking myself to dialysis to free  her up. I had to drive (with her with me) twice this week during a snowstorm, so I think I’m ready to do the trip solo. She is resting well and I’m trying to do more and more house work to allow her to rest in the evening.


The Bad:

  • It would be a huge benefit if my kidneys came back. I know many people have been praying for this from day one. Thank you! We cut back on the dialysis by 30 minutes. So far, my own, natural kidneys are NOT keeping up as the toxins have been rising. So, the rumors that I’ve started, that my kidneys are better may have been premature. But I’m still peeing like a racehorse, so that is a good sign. Acute renal failure is the time between first failure and 90 days. I’m now at 30 days. If the kidneys do not recover by day 90, it is considered end-stage renal failure and puts me in a far graver condition. Please keep praying.
  • I still have the unexplained sinus tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute). It limits my endurance as my heart rate and blood pressure get so high when I exert myself. None of my doctors have a clue as to why except for a possible connection to my kidney injury. It is a prayer concern that it is not due to direct damage to the heart from all of this and that it goes away.

The Ugly:

My tubes. I hate them!






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7 responses to “UPDATE: 2/12/19”

  1. Mike, some good news about your strength coming back, your HA’s gone along with your neck pain! Yeah! Now we need to keep asking and keep knocking on heavens door for kidney health, and cancer being arrested so stem cell can proceed. A day by day journey is so tough on you especially, and for all of us praying for miracles to take place 🙏🙏


  2. I will keep praying for you,I hope you get better soon wish I could come there and help out with everything and take care of you and Denise


  3. Thank you Mike, I love all the detailed info. Somehow that helps me pray and I’ll focus on the kidneys. We’ll take all the good news. The tubes are your friends right now! Said as the wife and mother of (multiple) heart surger(ies) patients – I was so thankful for all that medical stuff, they’re both still with us and going strong.


  4. Mike, I’m so sorry you are so sick. A 2 mile hike seems like a spectacular triumph under the circumstances. I’m glad and really interested you’re blogging about your illness and all that goes with it. Writing about chronic migraine has helped me for years although I find lately that I want to write less about that part of my life and more about all the other things that my life has been and still is. I’ll hold it in my heart that the latest round of chemo works like magic – in the best possible sense.


  5. Don’t know which of the three categories this fits in, but…
    When did you grow the ‘stache?
    Makes you look like Rudyard Kipling.


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