Update: 1/23/20

Summary: I just finished my last labs on Monday (1/20/20) and met with my nephrologist yesterday of the University of Washington.

  • Kidneys: My renal labs remain terrible, but stable. Last month I slightly relaxed my strict diet, eating one tablespoons of tomato sauce for the month, a few raisins in my, otherwise plain, morning oatmeal. Despite that loosening of the diet, the renal labs (particularly the potassium) was not worse, but slightly better. This is a big help in allowing me to have more food choices.
  • Feeling: I am feeling far better than I was even in October. Most of that has to do with my anemia improving. It is still present and appears to be stuck where it is (Hemoglobin of 12) but is far better than September when my hemoglobin was 8. I can’t imagine how good I would feel if my hemoglobin was normal (14+) again, I think I would be able to fly like Superman. My side effects from chemo (stomach flu type) are still present, constant, but milder. I’m only having diarrhea a few days a week.
  • Neurological: My twitching has always gone through unexplained cycles (while never going away). The good cycles have been so low (3-4 places twitching rather than 10+) that I think this whole horrible neurological syndrome might be getting better, very, very slowly.
  • Cancer: I was expecting to announce this morning that my cancer was in remission (based on the indirect measurement of the bad proteins). My decline in protein had been steady (see the graph below) and based on the result last month, we were expecting them to be normal this morning (which would be below 26). However, to my great disappointment, the trend was bucked and the bad proteins are slightly worse. That is very discouraging after having high hopes for days. In two weeks we will do a direct measurement of the cancer via a blood test. We do this every 3-6 months. Please pray that the cancer load would be low.
  • Career: I am attempting to return to work, although this decision is not in my hands completely but will be made in the next couple of weeks. That could be me working part time back at the Island Hospital headache clinic, or, I also have an opportunity to work for Peace Health neurology, which would mean a drive to Bellingham or Sedro Woolley.
  • Writing: There is so much I would love to write here in my blog. However, I have been working on a novel for three years (with a working title of Rock Harbor, It is a semi-romance novel). The manuscript was put on the back burner when I got sick. I restarted the novel in September and finished my first writing of it about three weeks ago. I am now going back through and editing (I write in layers, fixing typos, adding narrative color, etc.). This is a labor of love and is all-consuming my writing at this time.

Light Chains Jan



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7 responses to “Update: 1/23/20”

  1. Prayers that all numbers and symptoms improve, and thank you for keeping your friends and fans apprised. Some of us get a little antsy when we haven’t heard from you in a while.
    Looking forward to your new book!


  2. Thank you for the update and best of luck with future tests, your slightly increased variety in diet and writing/return to work. Every little step towards normalcy should be celebrated.


  3. Yeah, for most is good news. Will continue to pray that you cancer tests will improve, has to be very disheartening. So glad you are finishing your book. Will be anxious to read it! What girl doesn’t like a good romance. I so enjoy scenery pics of your lake and surrounding area that you post on Facebook from time to time. You live in a heavenly area for sure. Blessings 🙏🙏


  4. That’s good news on your ability to up the variety of foods a little. I bet the tomato sauce and raisons were the best you ever tasted after being so restricted. It’s also nice to know you are feeling better, more energetic and considering returning to work part time. My prayers will continue for even more improvement and very importantly for your Cancer to stay at a low grade at the very least. Looking forward to more of your writings. I remember your excerpt on Rock Harbor. I know it will be a quality romance without going too far off the deep end as you described in some of your critiques of other ‘romance’ type books. As always..wishing you and your family the best Mike!


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