Category: News

IgA Turns Around

I had blood drawn on April 26th and saw th report today. The last one was discouraging, but I was reminded not to panic until we saw a trend. This time, it’s down. The m-spike(s) are a tiny bit lower, too.
IgG: 350 mg/dL (range: 694-1618) Low — 375 on April 8
IgA: 876 mg/dL (range: 68-378) High — 1080 on April 8
IgM: 35 mg/dL (range: 60-263) Low — 23 on April 8
M-spikes: 0.35 g/dL and 0.10 g/dL (no m-spike is normal) — 0.44 and 0.13 last time

I wonder if there’s any way the April 8th test was elevated because of the virus that caused my shingles?

Mayo Clinic appointment

I have a May 9th appointment to see Dr. Hayman at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I’m looking forward to getting a fresh perspective on my case. In addition, I may get some testing that hasn’t been done before. I’m not sure what all will be done, but I was told to expect to stay 2-4 days. That’s not very helpful while making flight reservations, but I had to have a Saturday night stay anyway for a better fare.

My uncle Jon died this morning. He had stomach cancer, which had spread to his liver. His stomach had been removed months ago. When he found out he was sick, he was given 6 months to live. He survived 14 months. This was my dad’s brother. I admit I’m not sure how old he was, but I think he was in his late 60s. We aren’t a close family. I would guess that it’s been over 15 years since I even spoke to my uncle. Heck, I have a brother I haven’t seen or spoken to in something like 2 years (and we don’t even know where he is). We just don’t have the kind of bond that a lot of families have, extended or nuclear. It just occurred to me at this moment that I should probably call my dad tomorrow to see how he is. This was his brother. I don’t think they were close, but a brother is a brother. Hmm. Well, he’s only even come to see me once in the 4 years since I was diagnosed with myeloma.

Since I’m on a roll about families, I’m going to talk about the tragedy at VT. I can’t imagine the grief that the families and friends of the victims must be feeling. I hope they have the support they need. I think it’s somewhat shameful that this is all we’re going to hear about on TV news programs for a while. In my mind, it kind of takes away the dignity of the victims.

Can we stop things like this from happening? I don’t know. Parents, pay attention to your kids. If they have no friends, and are sullen and angry, something’s wrong. Get help.

Not that this is going to stop any future murders, but let’s at least require US citizenship for the purchase of firearms. Then let’s talk about why a citizen needs to have automatic weapons.


You know by now that I love blogs. :) I think they’re great. We just created a company blog for ConnectNC at The picture in the header is one I took about a month ago at a park nearby. It’s even more beautiful now that the trees and other plants are in bloom. I’ll go out again this week to take more pictures.

IgA is down again

My IgA was 676 mg/dL as reported by the lab at UNC today. That’s down almost 300 mg/dL from last month (964). It continues to move in the right direction. My doctor said that he has people who have done Velcade & Doxil who have gotten 2 year remissions from it.

From the BBC: ‘Personal’ health websites sought

People searching online for health advice often reject sites giving high quality information in favour of those with a human touch, a study suggests.

Researchers found people use an initial weeding out process to deal with the minefield of health information of variable quality available.

However, this tends to mean they quickly eliminate most NHS and drug company websites, they said.

The study was funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council.

People don’t have the patience to scroll through pages in order to find something useful
Professor Pamela Briggs
Northumbria University
The researchers examined the internet search strategies of people who wanted to find specific health information on topics such as high blood pressure, the menopause and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

They found that many websites were dismissed at quite amazing speeds.

Lead researcher Professor Pamela Briggs, from Northumbria University, said: “One thing that really put people off was advertising, so people clicked off drug company websites straight away.

“Generally, the medical information on drug company sites is very accurate but people question the authors’ motivation and agenda.

“The issue of impartiality is quite crucial in building trust.”

Personal stories

NHS websites fared little better. Often these were rejected because the first page participants were directed to was a portal or they had too much background or generic content.

Professor Briggs said: “People don’t have the patience to scroll through pages in order to find something useful.

“Ease of access is so important.”

The research also found that even if a site made a favourable first impression, it was unlikely to keep the attention if it did not include personal stories to which the reader could relate.

Many were specifically drawn to sites where they could read about the experiences of other people who have the same problems and concerns.

But Professor Briggs warned that the tendency to trust sites with personal testimonies from like-minded peers was potentially flawed, as it could reinforce unhealthy behaviour patterns.

Dr Paul Cundy, a GP and member of the British Medical Association’s IT committee, said there was also a danger that personal testimonies were planted by drugs companies.

He said drugs companies had been known to sponsor self-help sites which appeared at first glance to be independent.

“People should be encouraged to gather information from the web, but they should then take it to a doctor to discuss face-to-face rather than immediately taking action based on what they have found,” he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/03/07 00:13:29 GMT

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I just finished watching Gallipoli, with Mel Gibson (from 1981). That movie makes me think of Chris Hollyer. Each year, on ANZAC day, he would write to the list about the meaning of the day to people in Australia and New Zealand. We’ll have to maintain the tradition for him.

If you’re interested in reading health news, and would like one place to go to get the headlines and discuss the news, try I’m sort of addicted to news, so I hang out there a lot now. If you know of any good RSS newsfeeds for health, let me know.

Does anyone know what the lifetime limit is for Doxil? That’s something I need to look up and stay aware of. I looked at my chart last week, and thought I saw that I’m getting 65 mg/m2. The usual dose for this regimen is 30. I need to see the doctor and make sure. I could have misread something!


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