First off - for those who can catch it later today the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is live streaming the concert "Cancer Blows" from Dallas, Texas. Here is the link. Ryan Anthony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet and former member of the Canadian Brass, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma last year. This concert brings together many trumpet players in raising awareness about the disease as well as fund-raising for research into treatments for multiple myeloma.
On more mundane matters, I am coming to the conclusion of my second twenty-eight day cycle on pomalidomide and dexamathasone. Cycle three begins this coming Monday ...
The results so far are encouraging. I have not experienced any significant side effects from the pomalidomide. In particular, there have been no fevers as there were with lenalidomide. As a result, we will be increasing the dose from 2mg/day to the recommended dose of 4mg/day. My monthly blood tests are falling in mid-cycle currently. In the first cycle the free light chains increased slightly (not surprising as I had only been receiving the treatment for fourteen days). In the second cycle the free light chains returned to the level (145) that they had been prior to receiving pomalidomide. A downward trend is, of course, encouraging. We are hoping and expecting that moving to the full dose of pomalidomide will move the free light chain count even lower, with our goal always being to keep it under 100 in order to reduce the risk of organ damage from amyloidosis. It is amyloidosis - not myeloma - that is my doctor's greatest concern for my health at this time.
In the meantime, I continue to come to terms with the weekly roller coaster ride that comes with taking 40 mgs of dexamethasone every Monday morning. This is both a physical, emotional and spiritual challenge. Getting accustomed once again to this weekly rhythm is my lenten discipline this year. As much as I would like to say that it I have it mastered the truth is, I don't. Which makes me grateful for the people at home and at work who get to live with me through my ups and downs these weeks.