Thanks for your thoughts and prayers and here is an update.
Renal function: Summary, the results are better.
Again, this is such concern because my kidneys are in such bad shape and the studies show that those with Multiple Myeloma and on dialysis survive, on average, 8 months. No one knows why renal failure makes MM so much worse. So, I have already had 5 months of dialysis. It doesn’t mean that, like turning back into a pumpkin at midnight, that I would expire in 3 more months. But it does mean my road ahead would be much more difficult if I had to return to dialysis.
So, on the last visit (I had not seen my labs yet) my oncologist walked into the room and immediately said, “I’m concerned, because it looks like your kidneys are failing.” The way (I realize I’ve mentioned this before) we measure kidney function is by glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Normal is above 60. Dialysis starts around 15. I started a year ago at 4. I had been running around 22-23 this fall, then the last time, it was suddenly 18. I was skeptical about the meaning of the result as; a.) I had been traveling to Minnesota and could not follow my usual diet, and b.) I had just eaten a steak two days before the test. I don’t normally eat red meat now.
Anyway, my intuition was correct and today’s GFR was back around 22. That’s still horrible, but means I’m stable and will not require dialysis at this time.
Chemo Change: Summary, the insurance company has not decided if I can have the new drug yet.
We did reschedule today’s chemo (old drug, Velcade) until next Tuesday, hoping by then the insurance company will have decided to let me have this new drug (ixazomib). We are hoping that most of my present symptoms are related to Velcade and getting off of it and onto ixazomib would profoundly change my life for the better.
There is a chance that the worst of my present symptoms are not related to Velcade and therefore changing wouldn’t improve my life, but we are praying that it does.
The oncologist also shared new information that ixazomib not only has less side effects and is an oral drug Vs an infusion, but also appears to work better at keeping the cancer at bay, per a recent study. Keep praying! Mike