I saw David to get the results of the Bone Marrow testing, the Bone Survey and the Blood Work. The diagnosis of Myeloma had been confirmed.
The Bone Marrow results showed I had about 40% myeloma-plasma cells in my marrow, where the normal would be about 3% to 6% plasma cells in the marrow.
The Bone Survey was actually pretty normal as no holes were found in my skeleton. This was good news.
The Blood Work was more complex. The good news was that my Calcium was normal and kidney function was normal. The Albumin was normal. My Beta-2 Microglobulin was above normal. The immunoglobulins were off kilter. A and M were low and G was high. This is typical for myeloma.
David recommended RVD therapy – a combination of Revlimid, Valcade and Decadron.
Revlimid is the brand name of lenalidomide a newer relative of thalidomide; Valcade is the brand name of bortezomib; and Decadron is the brand name of dexamethasone which is only available today as the generic.
He said it is a well-tolerated therapy, especially for someone such as me, in otherwise good health. He also said that better than 90% of myeloma patients respond to this therapy.
David also suggested that I see the doctors at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa to discuss Autologous Stem Cell Transplant therapy as an option, because he thought I would be eligible. He faxed over my records to Moffitt and said they would call to set up an appointment. He also said that my therapy could wait until I had seen them because I was not that sick.
I told David that I had planned to have a second opinion on treatment and that I would be going to the Lynn Cancer Center in Boca Raton for this. He was absolutely OK with this, and encouraged it, and arranged to have my records faxed over there as well. I thanked him for his care and said I would let him know of my decision after I had met with the doctor at Lynn.