velcade (round two - cycle four)

Here is the latest news with regard to my ongoing treatments. I am continuing with weekly (four weeks out of five) trips to St. Paul's Hospital first thing on Tuesday mornings where I receive Velcade injections (and once every five weeks an iv drip of pamidronate to build up my bones). I had a good response when I began a second round of eight five-week cycles on Velcade in May (the free light chain count dropped from 170 in May to 115 in June). My doctor had forewarned me that this would, at some point, change. Sure enough, in July the number went up to 130 and then this month up to 146. Since the goal is to try, if possible, to keep the kappa free light chain count below 100 it means it is time to make changes to the treatment. My doctor advised adding Cyclophosphamide to my weekly medications (in addition to Velcade and Dexamethasone). He is hoping that this will extend the effectiveness of the Velcade treatments. Cyclophosphamide is taken weekly in pill form. Significant side effects are unlikely. I began taking it this week and haven't noticed any difference to the regular effects of the drugs (namely the high energy and emotions on Tuesday/Wednesday followed by fatigue on Thursday as a result of the Dexamethasone). Basically, everything remains quite stable and at a low level. I am the beneficiary of the new tests for free light chains which enable my doctor to identify, and respond to, small changes in blood chemistry that were, until recently, undetectable.

In the meantime, I have also been the beneficiary of sabbatical time with time to enjoy family and a gorgeous British Columbia summer. Yesterday I returned to my office and this Sunday return to preaching, with gratitude for health and life.



Thank-you once again to everyone who contributed to "An Evening Among Friends - A Multiple Myeloma Fundraiser" back in April. It was a great success in every way, largely due to the efforts of our daughter Anneke and her friend Sam. In the end $20,021 was raised for research into treating blood-related cancers such as Multiple Myeloma. Here is the report of the event at the website of the VGH + UBC Hospital Foundation.