Thunderstruck

This morning I went to see my family doctor. I had made this appointment last month merely to wish him and his family a happy holiday and give him a few gifts, mainly a big batch of my “famous” Xmas cookies and a few bottles of curcumin. But since I still have a bit of a cough, he listened to my lungs. All clear. No signs of pneumonia. So I will continue to take the antibiotic for a few more days, a total of 10 days, and that should be it.

 

I then showed him my recent bone density tests (see my “Bones of steel” post). I wish I had brought my camera with me. The look on his face was priceless. He was absolutely thunderstruck. A translation of what he said runs more or less as follows: I can’t believe this. I have never seen results like these.

 

When I asked him to elaborate, he told me that we begin losing bone mass after age 20…after that age, the best that one can hope for is for a T-score of ZERO, which would mean that one’s bones are as strong as they were at age 20 (if I recall correctly). But my score, for both my femur and neck, is not a mere zero. It is a positive number, a very positive number. Bones of steel…indeed.

 

But there is more good news. When I returned home, I found my November blood test results in my mailbox. A few results, such as the usual graph, are missing, so I must call the lab tomorrow morning to see what happened and have them send me another copy. But I have most of my results. And I was stunned. Simply stunned. Still am…

 

I will compare the November results to my July ones. I will concentrate on the more interesting results. From now on, J = July; N = November.

 

1.     White cell count. J = 3.88; N = 5.05. (NR: 4-10) Back in the NR.

2.     Red cell count. J = 4.12; N = 4.41. (NR: 4.20-5.40) Ditto.

3.     Hemoglobin. J= 12-2; N =13.2. (normal range: 12-16 g/dL) Even more within the NR.

4.     Hematocrit. J = 35.8; N = 38.3 (NR: 36-46). Back inside the NR!

5.     Iron. J = 57; N = 100. (NR: 60-140 mcg/dL) Finally, finally!!!

6.     LDH. J = 163; N = 151. Still within the NR, but an even better result.

7.     Total protein. J = 8.9; N = 8.6. (NR: 6-8.6 g/dL) Back to the NR!!!

 

But the best is yet to come. My IgA and IgM have finally reversed their negative downward trend. At least for these tests. My IgA has gone up a fraction of a fraction, from 0.0667 to 0.07, but my IgM has gone from 0.08 to a whopping 0.12!!! Okay, so these are teeny tiny percentages, but every little bit counts (tutto fa brodo, as we say in Italian). And hey, my IgM has made quite a comeback–more than 30%! I think my haematologist will be pleased.

 

Let’s see, what else? My total IgG has gone from 33.20 down to 32.80 (luckily, it’s been on a steady downward trend ever since my high result of 35.3 in February 2008, after the failed Biocurcumax/BCM-95 experiment), and my M-spike has also gone down a bit: from 2.46 (July) to 2.33 (November).   

 

More good news: my parathyroid hormone level has also gone down quite a bit. Indeed, it’s almost normal, now. This is amazing. I wonder what the endocrinologist will think of that!

 

I suppose I should mention again what supplements I took between the end of July and November. Not much, actually: my usual 8 grams of curcumin with bioperine, 1 gram of quercetin/bromelain and 1 gram of fish oil. All in capsule form.

 

Stefano and I are going to celebrate my results this evening. When I called him at work earlier, he told me to put a bottle of spumante (Ferrari Brut, our favourite!) in the fridge. I will go do that now… 

20 Comments

  1. Congratulations!!! How exciting.

    What a wonderful Christmas present.

    And all the information & encouragement that you share with others is a priceless gift that you are giving to the world.

    Thank you!

    Sandy

  2. Excellent Margaret. Apart from the news about your bones, some of the blood count changes over those 4 or 5 months are quite remarkable. The jump in WBC and iron are particularly significant and you must be very pleased with those numbers now.
    I wish I could be there when the bubbly comes out the fridge to join in the toast to your continued success in 2009. Tell you what, I raise a glass from a distance :-).
    Paul

  3. Yahooo! I give a toast to you also! And I’m also glad you’re getting a full 10 days of the antibiotic. Good going!

    Hallie

  4. Wonderful news! And very encouraging to those of us who are following the same regimen! But weren’t you experimenting with parthenolide too?
    Very best wishes,
    Alex.

    P.S. – And I know I shouldn’t start sentences with conjunctions. But Shakespeare did!

  5. Thanks for sharing your wonderful news with us, Margaret. I raise my glass to you in ‘cheers” as well. Here’s to your love of life and good health. Oh, you forgot to count the cats as part of the bone health plan!!

  6. It is just wonderful!
    And you deserve it!
    I have also appreciated very much that you immediately
    shared this success and your joy with all of us!
    Francesco

  7. Wahoo! You’re doing it, kiddo. Hope you and Stefano enjoyed the spumante – that’s good stuff. I’m sitting here drinking a Moretti La Rosa Doppio Malto (imported from Italy) in your honor. In my world that’s an acceptable substitute for spumante.

  8. That’s great news, Margaret. I hope your bones continue to get stronger every day. I must say that I’m a little envious. I wonder if the curcumin has had something to do with those good bone results. Hmmm.

    Cathy

  9. Dear Margaret,
    Your results are tremendous hope for us. Thank you very much for that great news. My wife is 53 years old and is diagnosed with multiple myeloma IgA type Lambda. Up to now she is treated 7 times with Vincristine, Endoxan, Dexamethasone and 5 times with VAD /Vincristine, Adriamycin, Dexamethasone/. My question is: be will better if now apply your therapy /8 grams of curcumin with bioperine, 1 gram of quercetin/bromelain and 1 gram of fish oil/ together with chemotherapy or without chemotherapy? What do you think?

    Ivan, Bulgaria

  10. Hi Ivan,

    I’m also IgA lambda. I have been told that it’s harder to treat. About 25% of MM pts are IgA and fewer are IgA lambda. Was there any result from the treatments?

    I took a lot of supplements my first year, as recommended by a leading nutritionist. I also juiced, avoided sugar, etc. I found that the only thing that really made a dent in my MM was SCT. Everything else caused years of misery to keep my IgA around 2000 mg/dL.

    Beth

    Beth

  11. Hello Beth,

    Thank you for your answer. I am Katya, Ivan’s wife. My IgA was 2950 mg/dl before starting VAD treatment. Now is 2062mg/dl. My autologus transplantation will happen in february or march next year. What is the IgA result after your SCT? How do you feel now?

    Katya

  12. Hi Katya,

    My IgA was about 4600 mg/dL and was always a real struggle to keep it between 1000 and 2000. After the SCT, it has stayed under 500. My SCT was 17 months ago.

    Since then, I feel better than I’ve felt in years.

    I found that Velcade gave me the best results to be able to proceed to the SCT.

    If you want to contact me directly, you can go to my contact form. It’s not good to have an email address displayed on the web.

    http://myelomablog.com/contact/

  13. Hi Katya and Ivan,

    I hesitated to write my reply, because your question is one that I receive often, and I find it impossible to give a satisfactory answer. I know that curcumin doesn’t interfere, e.g., with thalidomide or bortezomib, to name a couple of common myeloma conventional drugs. But I am not familiar with the “VA” part of the VAD protocol, I confess. So my advice, if I can call it that, would be not to take curcumin with this regimen, certainly not without consulting with my specialist, first.

    If you are going to have an SCT early next year, perhaps you can wait until after the transplant to try curcumin. Once you are drug-free, I don’t see any harm in trying it, following the protocol perhaps up to 4-6 grams a day to see if it is of any benefit. I imagine that you will have bloodwork done frequently, so you can check to see how your numbers are doing.

    I am of little help in this matter, I know. But we are all different and react differently to the exact same thing…so it’s impossible to set a general rule. It would be very wrong of me to advise on any course of action. However, if I were doing chemotherapy, I would be extremely careful about the supplements I take. Some help the drugs, but others could interfere. Not worth the risk. Just my opinion.

    I will contact you privately, too.

    Take care!
    Margaret

  14. Fantastic news on your results, were you not away during some of this period. Perhaps that agreed with you! But obviously your current curcumin mix is right for you. By the way, do you get a free light chain essay done on the bloods, It has been done with my last few results, apprarently it is a more sensitive marker, and responds to changes at a faster rate than the protein markers.

    Although my IgA has remained steady at 20 for the last year the light chain ratio has reduced very slightly. So I am also happy.

    All the best and Merry Christmas to you and Stefano

    Sue

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