Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December Numbers..... 77 Months of Complete Remission!

WBC:   8.7

HTC:   39.3


ANC:   70

*Kappa:  18.93
*Lambda:  22.34
*Ratio:  .85

Thankfully, his M-Spike remains at .3!  His oncologist is very pleased.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dom Remains in Complete Remission.....77 Months!

Normal levels of serum free light chains are:
• Kappa: 3.3–19.4 mg/L
• Lambda: 5.71–26.3 mg/L
• Kappa/lambda ratio: 0.26–1.65

His December Numbers Were:

*Kappa:  18.93
*Lambda:  22.34
*Ratio:  .85

Thankfully, his M-Spike remains at .3!  His oncologist is very pleased.

Tulane is sending me the other numbers via mail.

Merry Christmas!

Study Solidifies Agent Orange and Myeloma Link

Exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange has long been considered a potential risk factor for multiple myeloma (MM) and its precursor condition, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), although the science behind the association was limited.

Now, new research brings definitive evidence that Operation Ranch Hand veterans, U.S. Air Force (USAF) personnel who conducted aerial missions spraying the chemical during the Vietnam War, are more than two times as likely to have MGUS as other veterans (JAMA Oncol 2015;1[8]:1061-1068, PMID: 26335650).

“There has already been approval by the federal government to compensate people who served in the Vietnam War and developed lymphoma and myeloma, but there was no scientific evidence behind that—it was a political consensus,” said lead researcher C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and the chief of the Myeloma Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, both in New York City. “That motivated my colleagues and me to follow up on prior findings and investigate the link between MGUS and exposure to Agent Orange.”

To do so, Dr. Landgren and his colleagues carried out a detailed examination of data and stored blood samples obtained from Operation Ranch Hand veterans and comparison veterans who served in Southeast Asia at the same time, from 1962 to 1971, but were not involved in herbicide spray missions.


No Big Surprise in our Case

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

We're Ready for Christmas!

We live way back in the woods...3/4 miles away from the nearest neighbor.  Thus, we don't decorate the outside of the house..... just the inside.

This year, we thought we'd get Chinese take-out on Christmas Eve.  Christmas day will be just the two of us.  I'm making Roasted Duck, Jeff Smith's Red Cabbage, his Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Gratin Dauphinois (A decadent potato dish)

Remember the reason for the season....Keep CHRIST in Christmas, gang!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Monsanto to be Finally Put on Trial for Crimes Against Humanity

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, joined by dozens of global food, farming and environmental justice groups announced today that they will put Monsanto MON (NYSE), a US-based transnational corporation, on trial for crimes against nature and humanity, and ecocide, in The Hague, Netherlands, next year on World Food Day, October 16, 2016.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century according to the groups, Monsanto has developed a steady stream of highly toxic products which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people.

These products include:

• PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), one of the 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that affect human and animal fertility;

• 2,4,5 T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant, Agent Orange, which was used by the US Army during the Vietnam War and continues to cause birth defects and cancer;

• Lasso, an herbicide that is now banned in Europe;


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We had a great couple of days.  Joe drove in from Pensacola for the night.  Wendy and Bubby joined us as well.

The boys shot guns for awhile while I got Jiggy With It in the kitchen.

22# Martha Stewart turkey.  (covered in cheesecloth, basted with wine and butter)

Pecan/cornbread/sausage/cranberry stuffing

Mashed potatoes and gravy

Balsamic carmelized pearl onions

Lima beans.

Wendy brought over a "cake sampler" from her bakery for dessert.

We had a very pleasant dinner, enjoyed a bonfire, then hit the sack.

Joe left in the early morning.  Wendy and Bubby stuck around into the afternoon.
One very sad thing to mention..... Wendy's home burned down to the ground that morning.  She and Bubby live in his home nearby.  Ex husband Richard,  2 grown daughters and her grandchild lived in her house.  Thankfully, no one was home when the fire started.  We truly had a lot to be THANKFUL for!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Here's how 'bone marrow transplants' work

Ask the Expert: The type of cancer, patient's age, general health, availability of donors and other factors determine the type of transplant


Is one person’s bone marrow literally transplanted into another during a bone marrow transplant?


Hematopoietic stem cell transplants (commonly referred to as bone marrow transplants) are typically used to treat blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplant encompasses peripheral blood stem cell transplant, bone marrow transplant and alternative donor transplant as well. In the majority of cases, the source of the stem cell to complete the transplant is taken from the bloodstream of the patient or a donor (peripheral blood stem cell transplant).

In a smaller number of cases, the patient may receive stem cells from umbilical cord blood or stem cells from a donor’s actual bone marrow.

If the stem cells are taken from the patient, it is called an autologous transplant. If the stem cells are from a donor, it is an allogeneic transplant. Both types of transplants use hematopoietic stem cells that can have the capacity for self-renewal and the ability to form all types of blood cells including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

The stem cells are transfused into the patient’s bloodstream, where they migrate to the bone marrow and grow into healthy new blood cells and therefore repopulate the bone marrow.

In autologous transplants, the dose of chemotherapy is what provides the benefit of disease control/cure. It is more commonly considered as a therapeutic modality for multiple myeloma, where it offers disease control and for recurrent Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease where it has the potential for cure.

In allogeneic transplants, the dose of chemotherapy provide benefit but also the interaction between the donor and recipient cells allow a protective response called graft versus tumor effect. It should be noted that each type of transplant is associated with its own risks and benefits.

If an allogeneic transplant is to be performed, a donor search is initiated. Donors have to be closely genetically matched. The donor search usually begins with full blood siblings, who have about a 25 percent chance of being a match (matched-related donor).

For those individuals without a sibling match (70 percent of patients) the search is entered into a registry of donors through the National Marrow Donor Program, where a potential donor is identified (matched-unrelated donor). For those without a full match alternative donor transplants such as umbilical cord or haploidentical transplants (parent or children) may be considered.

The patient’s type of cancer, age, general health, availability of donors, and other factors determine whether an autologous or allogeneic transplant is performed.

The Cancer Transplant Institute at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at HonorHealth has been recognized by the NMDP. It is also one of only 106 U.S. bone marrow transplant centers accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy for both autologous and allogeneic transplants.

Veena Fauble, MD, is a physician at the Cancer Transplant Institute at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at HonorHealth. For more information about bone marrow transplants available at HonorHealth, please contact an oncology nurse navigator at 480-323-1339 or HonorHealth/cancer.