Touch of the flu…and carfilzomib

I began feeling a bit “off” right before Xmas…Fatigue (I mean, I couldn’t keep my eyes open…), immense fatigue…and a low-grade fever: those were my main symptoms. Nothing major, as you can see, but it was enough to slow me down at a time that is normally quite busy for me, including frenzied Xmas cookie baking and that sort of thing.

The low-grade fever turned into a proper fever after Xmas, so I gave up fighting it and just slept. And slept and slept. Then, a day or so ago, the fever was gone. The main symptom is gone, but I’m still super fatigued. Bummer.

That said, I’d much rather be fatigued than have THE DREADED COUGH! So, truth be told, this touch of flu hasn’t been all that bad. Many of our friends and neighbors have had a terrible time with this flu (one of my friends had it twice!), so I can’t complain. Besides, I had the best nursing care ever. In addition to Stefano, of course, my adult cats made sure I was always warm and surrounded by purrs and love…Whenever I’d wake up from one of my comas, there they were…on top of me and/or around me. So comforting!

I’m still too exhausted to feel up to bringing in the New Year with our friends, so Stefano and I are staying at home with the kitties…Speaking of which, Pandora and Pixie are still in their quarantine room, mainly because their ear mite infection hasn’t completely cleared, and ALL WE NEED is for the other five adult cats to get ear mites (AGGGHHHHHH!!!). But just a few days from now the vet is coming to check them over, so it won’t be long before we will be able to let them out…It’s TIME. They’ve been isolated in that (big) room for almost two months now. Such good, patient kitties…but they really want to come out, now…And they’re getting BIG…I’ll try to post a photo or two tomorrow…

As for carfilzomib, well, the news isn’t all that great. Since some of you might be taking it or might know someone who is, I thought you might want to read about the recent discovery that a higher than expected percentage of patients on carfilzomib has been experiencing some severe cardiovascular issues. Not good. Here’s the link to the Science Day article where I read about it just this morning:

P.S. After publishing this post, I thought I’d double-check the carfilzomib news (I usually do the reverse!) and found out hat these cardiovascular problems have been known for years now. Years! Quite a few studies on this topic have warned about the toxicity of this drug (from 2013, possibly earlier). So this study simply confirmed what was already out there.

And this shows that I am not so up to date on conventional MM therapies…Then again, neither is Science Daily, hehe.

Okay, I need to go check on the mad kittens now (they are SO active!!!), and then go help Stefano with our New Year’s dinner, yum yum. I hope everyone has heaps of fun tonight AND heaps of good food and happiness!

HAPPY NEW YEAR – BUON ANNO, everyone!!! And may 2018 be a VERY HEALTHY YEAR FOR ALL OF US!!!  🙂  

Mummy with myeloma

I just read a fascinating bit of news. After examining two Egyptian mummies (a man and a woman who had died, respectively, in 1800 and 2000 BC), an international team determined that they both had cancer…The woman had breast cancer…and the man had multiple myeloma.

These are the oldest known cases of breast cancer and myeloma…

So myeloma is NOT a relatively recent type of cancer…That’s incredibly interesting, don’t you think? I thought so, anyway…

Here’s the link to the Science Daily article: 

Well, well…

December test results

I had blood tests (and the Bence Jones 24-hour urine test) last week.

This afternoon I got my results. Here goes, in a nutshell:

  • My M-spike has gone down (it has actually been going down a wee bit for the past two tests, so this is the third “wee bit down”).
  • Total IgG is also down (for the second time, when compared to my last few tests).
  • My hemoglobin is in the normal range, even though my red blood cells are slightly low, but just slightly.
  • Everything else looks pretty much the same. Almost everything, certainly anything of importance, is a wee bit better compared to my most recent tests. For example, my monoclonal component hasn’t been this low since 2012. And my freelite chains have also gone down quite a bit.
  • No Bence Jones. Yaaaay!

You are probably curious to know what I’ve been taking. Not much, actually. I mean, in addition to using Nigella sativa in my food, I’ve been taking my usual 8 grams of C3 Complex curcumin a day, divided into two doses (4 grams at lunchtime, 4 at dinnertime). And, since last summer, I have been testing a Ganoderma lucidum supplement: 960 mg, twice a day (again, lunch and dinner, together with the curcumin). Well, the Ganoderma seems to have done something, for sure.

Or could it simply be the “kitten” effect (see photo of Pandora, left; Pixie, right)? Meow!!! 

Who knows? 😉

Anyway, whatever the cause, these results confirm that I’m stable…And to think that more than 12 years have passed since my SMM diagnosis…

Well, well, well! Stefano and I certainly have some celebrating to do this evening. 🙂

Ciao, everyone, and may the holiday season bring GOOD NEWS to you, too!!!

New study: a curcumin-carfilzomib combination is deadly to U266 myeloma cells

Well, well, well…

A few minutes ago a recently-published Italian study caught my eye. A group of researchers from the University of Messina (Sicily) has discovered that the combined effects of curcumin and carfilzomib (CFZ) are absolutely deadly to multiple myeloma U266 cells.  😎  

Here’s the link to the abstract: 

As we can read, the researchers conclude the following: “These findings evidence that curcumin can ameliorate CFZ efficacy, and lead us to hypothesize that this effect might be useful to optimize CFZ therapy in MM patients.


At any rate, I thought this study might be of huge interest to anyone who is taking carfilzomib right now…and so I wrote this quick post! But now I have to get back to my kittens (the vet is coming to visit them day after tomorrow…I so hope she will give us some GOOD NEWS…!!!).

High levels of the enzyme ADAR1 are associated with reduced survival in multiple myeloma

We have a new target in multiple myeloma. An enzyme called ADAR1. In a nutshell, patients with high levels of this enzyme in their myeloma cells don’t live as long as those with low levels of ADAR1:

But the most interesting finding, in my opinion, is as follows…

In the words of the senior author of this University of San Diego study, Prof. Catriona Jamieson, “Several major advances in recent years have been good news for multiple myeloma patients, but those new drugs only target terminally differentiated cancer cells and thus can only reduce the bulk of the tumor. […] They don’t get to the root cause of disease development, progression and relapse — cancer stem cells — the way inhibiting ADAR1 does.”

Ah, myeloma stem cells. Those darned thingies. Coincidentally, lately I’ve been working on a post about MM stem cells (it’s taking much MORE time than expected, mainly because of the kitten issues we’re having in this period, as you know by now…).

Anyway, c’mon, let’s get those clinical trials going, especially since the drugs that inhibit ADAR1 are already on the market. It’s a no-brainer!!!