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  • Writer's pictureBostnMike

Oh, What A Year It's Been!

It’s been more than a minute since the last update. And there’s still not a lot of news, but it’s that time of year so a recap and reflection seems appropriate.

First, the limited updates.

I’m 4 months post-transplant and have started “Maintenance Therapy”. What’s that you ask? Well, it means a lot less travel and lower doses of medications. One trip a month to the cancer center for immunotherapy, (no more Chemo at the hospital for now). I’ll also be getting an IV for bone-fortifying meds to help the skeleton bounce back from the Myeloma Termites. And lastly a lower dose of Oral Chemo. Still taking Revlimid, but it’s a 10MG dose (down from 25MG), and it’s 21 days on and 7 days off.

This will be the routine for the foreseeable. The next bone marrow biopsy will be three to six months from now (probably closer to the 6-month mark). And at that point, we’ll know how close I am to the “R-word”. But trends are headed in the right direction. A couple of examples for you are below.

Light chains are steadily climbing back to normal after the transplant.

White blood cells are back in the green after being completely whipped out by the transplant.

With the treatments no longer coming “thick and fast,” the next wave is slow and steady. If you know me, that’s not exactly my speed, so I’ll have to adapt. The patience muscles are getting a workout for sure.

I thought I’d do a bit of a reflection on some random numbers as a Year-end Review. My records were a bit spotty at the start of this, so I ask forgiveness for data accuracy…

  • 1,899,594.12 = In gross billings to insurance 💰 😱

  • 5,412.8 = miles driven this year for treatment-related activity 🤯

  • 1,224 = miles flown for consults (really lucky it was that few) 🛫

  • 310 = days since I’ve flown for business (and counting)… #ImGrounded 🛬

  • 387 = medical claims filed 📈

  • 77 = Doses of oral chemo 💊

  • 56 = Lab visits (blood draws) #ImAPinCushion 💉

  • 43 = Combined X-rays, MRIs, CT, or PET Scans 🩻

  • 39 = Chemo and/or Immunotherapy Injections (including transplant) 💉

  • 12 = Blog posts about this whole bru-ha-ha ✍🏼

  • 4 / 8 = individual ribs fractured / number of actual fractures 🦴

  • 6 = Radiation treatments ☢️

  • 3 = Surgical procedures 🥼

  • 2 = Bone Marrow Biopsies (and counting) 🥺

= ONE very grateful individual. 🙌🏼

So much to be thankful for!

All of you in my support network have been a huge part of my journey, and your check-ins, notes, well-wishes, calls, texts, etc., mean the world to me.

Modern science and the rate of innovation with this particular type of cancer is moving at breakneck speed. Twenty years ago, it was guesswork and clinical trials. Today, it's a playbook that has made significant strides. While there isn't a cure, there is a treatment. And given the speed of science, I'm very optimistic that a cure is possible.

Duke Cancer Center and its proximity to my home was massive. Being 30 minutes away from some of the greatest care on the planet for Multiple Myeloma has been an incredible blessing. The staff is amazing, and I could not be more grateful.

So, as the year winds to a close, I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday season, and a healthy and prosperous new year, and I'll be back with more updates as the news merits a post in '24.

Until then, thank you for taking time out of your days to read and follow.

Mike a.k.a. BostnMike

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