Reasons I haven’t been posting much…and my saw palmetto test results

Wow, that was FAST! I wasn’t supposed to receive my saw palmetto test results until after January 7th. But they arrived yesterday! Surprise, surprise! Thing is, I was so busy yesterday that I barely had enough time to glance at them. Until this morning. But first things first.

I haven’t been posting lately because we have been, yes, incredibly busy. In a very good way, I should add. Just to give you an example: on Sunday I was reunited with other four University of Florence friends (I should probably explain that in the early 1980s I attended university here for a couple of years before returning to the U.S.,where I finished college, worked for a while, then went on to grad school…), some of whom I hadn’t seen in more than 20 years. Boy, that really puts a perspective on, er, things…I mean, one of my university friends has a kid in COLLEGE…eeeek! Anyway, it was wonderful to see them all…lots of laughter, chatting, eating, singing…this get-together was such a huge success that we are already planning another one…

Stefano and I had and still have a million other things on our holiday “agenda.” I have been trying to read all of my messages but haven’t had the time to answer very many. I should also note that some unanswered ones may have gotten (or will get, at this rate!) buried, so if you really want to hear from me, please drop me another line. Sorry for the inconvenience, but if you could see how many unopened messages I have in Outlook, you would understand…sigh!

IMG_4254Oh, I almost forgot another good reason for not posting much in this period: Piccolo (see photo). Every time I begin doing research for a post, he jumps up on my desk and lies down on my left arm, right between me and the keyboard, purring like mad (Simon’s cat = Margaret’s cat!). Perhaps he is trying to let me know that I need to take a break from the blog now and again…such a smart boy! Well, he cannot be ignored…in part because he is so irresistible, in part because he weighs EIGHT kilos…imagine typing anything with that kind of weight on one of your arms!

Okay, but let’s get to my saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) test results. Oh wait…I have to confess that during the saw palmetto experiment, I sometimes reduced my curcumin intake slightly, from 8 to 6-7 grams/day. Only sometimes, mind you. Silly of me, but sometimes even I get tired of swallowing so many capsules…(it won’t happen again, though!). 

Compared to my October tests, my total IgG has gone up a bit, from 2970 to 3410 mg/dL. But I also have a bit of good news: my IgA increased from 6 to 15. For me, that’s like jumping off the top of Florence’s cathedral and landing on the Taj Mahal! My IgM also went up, but only slightly, from 8 to 10. Still, even though these two numbers continue to be amazingly low, I am happy to see them go up, NOT down…about time, I say!

Now, about my increased immunoglobulins. I didn’t keep a daily record (I was just too busy this fall…I am sure that it would help if I wrote down every single thing I swallow…but what a chore that would be…)…but at one point in October, when I started getting a few cold symptoms, I did take some Sambucol, the H1N1-inhibiting black elderberry extract. For the record: the cold never materialized. At any rate, could Sambucol have pushed up my immunoglobulin counts? Hmmm…

As for my other myeloma markers, I cannot find anything that really sticks out. Some numbers have gone up slightly, such as B2M, M-spike and total protein, but others have gone down a bit, such as CRP. And my hematocrit and hemoglobin have increased a smidgeon, too (both are still well within the normal range).

Let’s see, what else? Yes, a bit more good news: my parathyroid hormone result has finally settled within the normal range. And yes, my vitamin D levels have increased from 25,7 to 35,1. Excellent!

Well, all in all, I am satisfied…NOT ecstatic, since I was hoping for better results, of course…but it is true that my results always seem to go a bit up, then a bit down: the teeter-totter effect! And what matters to me is that I am still stable. Besides, saw palmetto left me with a great head of hair! 😉

I hope that everyone is having a lovely and healthful holiday! Oh my, it’s almost time for dinner. I can hear Stefano in the kitchen…I’d better go and see if he needs any help! Ciao a tutti!


  1. Margaret,
    You have a hand! : ) That’s the first evidence I’ve seen that you’re a REAL person on the other end of my computer! I’m such a silly girl! : ) I hope I’m not the only person in the world who thinks such thoughts!

    Lest I digress, I’m so happy you continue to be stable! I’m especially happy about your IgA and IgM! A major accomplishment! And you have beautiful hair too…what more could one ask for…lower IgGs would be nice…a cure would be better…something to shoot for next time!

    I refer to this untimely journey of ours as a roller coaster ride, sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down. I’m thrilled you had a good ride this time! Enjoy your holiday! Donna

  2. Gee Donna, you make me sound like “Thing” from the Addams family! I assure you that I am more than…just a hand…hmmm, I will have to send you a photo (of my other hand…of course!). 😉
    Well, my “ride” could have been better, but I have decided to give saw palmetto another chance at some point in the future.
    Thanks…hope you have a great holiday, too!

  3. Margaret,
    I have been taking saw palmetto for about 2 months and will have a lab test next week. I’ll let you know. I take so many things! Curcumin, quercitin, green tea extract, fish oil, vitamin c, calcium (with D vitamin). My husband has Parksinson’s and I read that so many of these things are good for him too. I started him on curcumin also; didn’t know what dosage to use so I’m giving him 6-8 grams a day. Too soon I think to notice anything.
    Lab results due in a couple of weeks…

  4. I don’t know much about myeloma, but I do know a lot about vitamin D. And, I think you might want to shoot for a higher level. There’s no consensus but most experts in vitamin D research believe levels should be somewhere between 30 ng/ml and 70 ng/ml. After reviewing a lot of studies, I have decided that 45-50ng/ml is the best guess for now. Check out the vitamin D council’s webpage, especially this page:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *