In summary, I restarted my nasty chemo today with no definite end in sight. While discouraging, I have some hope because we reduced the dose (the oncologist did with reluctance) by 1/3. Rather than taking it 3 weeks out of the month, I will be taking it two weeks (off every other week). I will also discuss this with my myeloma specialist in Seattle a week from today. If your are interested in the “why” of this decision, I will post a paragraph below about the process. But thank God, I am back in remission, a deeper remission than ever before.
I finished a podcast, part V, in my Religion Vs Science series. This one was a summary of the previous four and moved the ball a few more inches toward finishing this series. If you have not heard any of them, and are interested, this would be a good jumping in point as I bring everyone up to speed. It is a bit of a “rattle off” mode, thanks to the steroids in my body tonight, and my desire to finish this topic. But it is more lucid than my last one which I recorded while feeling quite ill. I will have one or two more and then I will finished, I promise. You can listen to it here.
Why We Are Keeping Me on the Nasty, Life-Ruining Chemo
I will cut to the chase. Multiple Myeloma is a complex disease with many versions. No two MM patients are alike. Regarding my particular MM, if I were the stop the nasty chemo (Lenalidomide), my prognosis, based on studies, is a mean survival of 3 years. If I stay on this chemo, my prognosis has a mean survival of 10 years. Besides just living 7 years longer, it would mostly likely put me in the milieu of a cure. Now, a “clumsy” cure might be available with three years, meaning it might cure you if it doesn’t kill you first. Now, studies are important, but are most accurate when you are dealing with large populations. On an individual basis, I could die from MM this week even with this nasty chemo, or I could live 20 years without it. Yet, you could die this week due to whatever, or I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. But the odds are important as math never lies.
My prayer is that this dose adjustment will give me a little of my life back. If it does not, I will have to make a very sober decision in a few months if living 3 years (if I followed the statistics) at 80% of my former self, is better than living 10 years at my new 20% of my former self. Having cancer is not for the faint hearted, just ask some of my friends who have been at this a lot longer than me.
Thanks again for your interest, thoughts, and prayers.