Tuesday, 10 April 2007

What a surprise!

Really something to hear today that my paraprotein level has dropped so dramatically- from 20 - 7 after little more than one cycle of lenalidomide. Speaking with Huw my consultant last week he suggested we might see a drop but not to be too worried if it didn't yet show any effect ( and of course that it might have no effect is always a possibility- given how resistant I seem to have been to other forms of therapy).

As you'll have gathered from my blog I have in fact felt as if I'd been tolerating the lenalidomide quite well - despite the effects on my blood sugars of the dexamethasone- but the real test for me is always the paraprotein level- so good news! It also makes any thoughts of having to tolerate more treatment much more bearable when such results as this come through. Given quite a lift to my wife and kids as well as they have to live with this so nice to have a goody rather than a baddy.

Also helps make us address other things with less worry- eg we have now booked our holiday to near Montpellier and thanks to the nice folks at Freedom Travel ( who specialise in medical insurance) I'm covered for a week for the remarkably low insurance premium of 97 pounds and covered for everything except for Brechin City losing when we are away. I'm also taking on a few bits more work which I might tell you about sometime.

The only slightly downside today is again the dex has been keeping me up and I had little more than two hours sleep last night. Still I had three folks singing to me in my ipod and I suspect they don't perform regularly together. Willie Nelson was singing On the Road Again- a real upbeat song associated with family camper trips; Dougie McLean- the Scottish singer writer was singing about "Strathmore" where I come from and the track starts and ends with one of the loves of my life- an old Ferguson tractor (I spent all my school/student holidays working on farms in Strathmore and driving tractors and one of Elspeth's fears is that I turn up one day having bought an old grey Ferguson tractor- and why not?); and lastly Dietrich Fischer Dieskau singing Mache Dich Mein Herze from the St Mathew Passion- what a voice. I think you'll gather my musical taste is eclectic - or all over the place is maybe a better description.

On working on farms and tractors I've just read the Derek Brownless article in Myeloma Matters where he asks Why him? Why did he get Myeloma. In my case I've never really asked why I got it but would like to know how I got it. I know there is a view that pesticides/organophosphates might be an issue- on the farming front most of my work was on fruit farms and my job- completely unprotected - was to spray all the raspberry fields with chemicals such as malathion etc etc. No protective clothing. No training on how to spray or handle chemicals or spillages- very often over me. I wonder.

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