Tuesday, January 11, 2011
1/11/11 = cool numbers... and so are My new numbers
Today is January 11, 2011 but I like 1/11/11... wonder what 11/11/11 will bring...
I've come to love interesting numbers... in many ways... especially since my Myeloma diagnosis brought such Interesting Numbers into my life LOL
Numbers have become quite symbolic in my life... well they always have been, but I have numerical MARKERS now that I didn't before. So sorry to everyone and my students who now have to endure my... "Oh wow, did you know....that on... blah blah... I was blah blah... and your BD is my blah blah, or your ID# has my blah blah" hahaahahahaaaaaa
13 = FRIDAY THE 13th !!! ... the date of that fateful 2009 "routine physical" that began EVERYTHING!
13th Chromosome may have something to do gentically with Myeloma...
14 = my first Hematology appointment (and so ironically, the date I was hired at my favorite college MANY years ago)
30 = my diagnosis date- just a day or two before the New Year
5 = the 4th of July weekend- as the 5th is my new "birthday" they tell me; the day I received my own Stem Cells back to regenerate my blood after decimating the myeloma cells with chemo, chemo, chemo
22 = my original birthday... and I have so many coincidences on the magical 22
Today, 1/11/11 (double that, and you've got my 22)... seems like a numerically fun day to report in my amazing Remission status numbers from my most recent blood work...
Happy New Year to me!
My Whites have jumped an amazing .01 from last month's 3.3 to this month's 3.4 woo-hoo!! Almost sliding into the low end of NORMAL, which is 4.0 (and not my GPA!)
Go Reds... they're Nnnnnormal!!! at 4.39 - and several other related levels there are Normal too
Neutrophils... (still have to look up their significance, but was told they matter!) are Normal
Electrolytes, Creatinine, Liver function tests, Proteins = Normal
AND the BIG MARKERS... my IMMUNOGLOBULINS... the IGG, IGA, IGM...
are lo, lo, lo, lowwww and sub normal low as a result of the stem cell transplant and the lovely Melphalan chemo
At diagnosis... my myeloma infested IGA was over 5600 !!!! its now so low the test results show a < !!
Haaa to you myeloma I have have a bunch of <<<<< less than symbols symbolizing YOU!!!
IGG = 551
IGA = <25
IGM = <20
hahahahahahahaaaaa on you Myeloma!!! We gobbled you up and spit you out of town!!!
Yes, I know... low, low, low would "normally" not be good... but for me, right now... I'm liking it!
Here's a fairly good description of who these different Immunoglobulins are:
I'm going to have to study this myself, as glancing through this... as I have done millions of times, but not much stuck during 2010, I do see a relationship between things there and perhaps WHY I developed Multiple Myeloma!! Dang my sensitive system... allergies, allergies, low thyroid, genetics, etc.... hmmmm
And lastly... M-PROTEIN was Not DETECTED by Immunofixation
Beta-2-Microglobulin is Normal
Light Chains = Normal or right on the low end of Normal
And guess how many pages my test results were... 22 !! not kidding!!
I'm so NNNNNormal now... my blog is getting rather boring!!!! I'll be losing my Drama-Queen title fairly soon! But I know... Normal has never been a description that comes to mind when thinking about me :)
So here's to a great beginning of 2011 on 1/11/11 with 22 pages of good news!
I wish all of you the very best for 2011 and may your numbers be healthy, happy and repetitiously fun!
Helpful Myeloma Links
- American Cancer Society- Multiple Myeloma
- American Society of Hematology
- Ask Dr Durie
- Cancer Therapy Advisor - MM
- Chemo Care- Drug definitions
- Health Monitor Magazine
- International Myeloma Foundation
- LLS- Myeloma
- MM resources
- Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
- Myeloma Beacon
- Myeloma Blogs
- Myeloma Crowd
- Myeloma Symptoms
- Patient Power
- Support Groups
- Understanding Multiple Myeloma
My Story... How my MM was diagnosed
My treatment trail ride forks to City of Hope hospital as I will saddle up beginning June 9, 2010 for a new rodeo called an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant!
My initial chemo regimen:
Pill form Chemo= Revlimid (10mg capsules)
Allopurinol- keeping the kidneys healthy
Acyclovir- anti-Shingles, anti-viral
High dose IV Cytoxan chemo
Neupogen to build up stem cells for Apheresis, stem cell harvest, which was very successful, as City of Hope was able to collect 9.5 million of my own stem cells
July 2010 Hospitalization:
Two days of high dose Melphalan chemo
Then July 5, 2010 = my Autologous Stem Cell transplant infusion!
And you can read my whole story from that point forward in this blog!
What is multiple myeloma?
Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body. To learn more about how cancers start and spread, see What Is Cancer?
Multiple myeloma is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. Normal plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and are an important part of the immune system.
The immune system is made up of several types of cells that work together to fight infections and other diseases. Lymphocytes (lymph cells) are the main cell type of the immune system. The major types of lymphocytes are T cells and B cells.
When B cells respond to an infection, they mature and change into plasma cells. Plasma cells make the antibodies (also called immunoglobulins) that help the body attack and kill germs. Lymphocytes are in many areas of the body, such as lymph nodes, the bone marrow, the intestines, and the bloodstream. Plasma cells, however, are mainly found in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside some hollow bones. In addition to plasma cells, normal bone marrow has cells that make the different normal blood cells.
When plasma cells become cancerous and grow out of control, they can produce a tumor called a plasmacytoma. These tumors generally develop in a bone, but they are also rarely found in other tissues. If someone has only a single plasma cell tumor, the disease is called an isolated (or solitary) plasmacytoma. If someone has more than one plasmacytoma, they have multiple myeloma.
Multiple myeloma is characterized by several features, including:
Low blood counts
In multiple myeloma, the overgrowth of plasma cells in the bone marrow can crowd out normal blood-forming cells, leading to low blood counts. This can cause anemia – a shortage of red blood cells. People with anemia become pale, weak, and fatigued. Multiple myeloma can also cause the level of platelets in the blood to become low (called thrombocytopenia). This can lead to increased bleeding and bruising. Another condition that can develop is leukopenia – a shortage of normal white blood cells. This can lead to problems fighting infections.
Bone and calcium problems
Myeloma cells also interfere with cells that help keep the bones strong. Bones are constantly being remade to keep them strong. Two major kinds of bone cells normally work together to keep bones healthy and strong. The cells that lay down new bone are called osteoblasts. The cells that break down old bone are called osteoclasts. Myeloma cells make a substance that tells the osteoclasts to speed up dissolving the bone. Since the osteoblasts do not get a signal to put down new bone, old bone is broken down without new bone to replace it. This makes the bones weak and they break easily. Fractured bones are a major problem in people with myeloma. This increase in bone break-down can also raise calcium levels in the blood. (Problems caused by high calcium levels are discussed in the section “How is multiple myeloma diagnosed?”)
Abnormal plasma cells do not protect the body from infections. As mentioned before, normal plasma cells produce antibodies that attack germs. For example, if you developed pneumonia, normal plasma cells would produce antibodies aimed at the specific bacteria that were causing the illness. These antibodies help the body attack and kill the bacteria. In multiple myeloma, the myeloma cells crowd out the normal plasma cells, so that antibodies to fight the infection can’t be made. The antibody made by the myeloma cells does not help fight infections. That’s because the myeloma cells are just many copies of the same plasma cell – all making copies of the same exact (or monoclonal) antibody.
The antibody made by myeloma cells can harm the kidneys. This can lead to kidney damage and even kidney failure.