Health Update

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I’ve had some lab work and a couple of doctor visits this week. Everything is fine aside from my M-protein level, which you will recall is a marker that’s a good measure of the level of cancerous cells in my bone marrow. The evil dexgot it down to 0.3, and it hovered around there for a couple of months after we stopped the dex.1 This month, however, it’s up to 0.48. My oncologist thinks that I may have been dehydrated when I did the lab work, because several other results were also higher than before. Because of this, he thinks the M-protein level will probably drop the next time I get labs done.

Is this plausible? Beats me. As near as I can tell, oncologists are so devoted to happy talk that it’s hard to know whether to believe anything they say. So this might be an aberration or it might not. We’ll find out in a couple of months.

If my M-protein level does go back down, then we keep doing what we’re doing. If it continues to go up, we’ll switch to a different maintenance regimen. We should find out sometime around my 58th birthday.

Life is weird. In the past two years, four members of my immediate family have been diagnosed with cancer. The total size of my immediate family is seven. Seems a little excessive, doesn’t it?

POSTSCRIPT: I get occasional emails from readers who haven’t seen a health update in a while and want to know how I am. For the record, if there’s no health update, it means nothing has changed. I’ll always post about anything significant.

1That’s dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that helps fight multiple myeloma. However, it has bad long-term side effects, so it can only be used for a few months at a time.

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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