Good news! I got my latest lab results today, and my M-protein level has increased only slightly since last month:

It’s hard to see in the chart, but this is an increase of only 0.05, half of the 0.1 increase in each of the past two months. This suggests (knock wood) that the Darzalex on its own is working adequately and the rise in my cancer load is starting to flatten out. If it does end up flattening in the 0.5-6 range, everything will be fine and I won’t have to start up the Evil Dex again.

On a related note, I have this number today because I’ve been in the infusion center all morning. I asked one of the nurses if she could change the date for my next set of tests, but she misheard me and thought I wanted my current test results. When she gave them to me, they included the M-protein number.

Normally it takes me a while to get that. My first oncologist said it was impossible for the online system to deliver M-protein test results, but this was just a straight-up lie. My current oncologist, in what passes for candor among doctors, admits that he has to release it before I can see it, but says it’s because the IT folks have set it up this way. This is also a lie, of course, since IT would never want or be given that authority. It’s obvious that the doctors themselves have decided to withhold certain test results until they’ve seen them, but they don’t want to admit that. I sort of understand why, but it still grates. I paid for the tests, after all.

But enough griping. These test results are pretty good, and I hope for more good news next month.

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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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