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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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