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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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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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