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I’ve been sharing my health status with you guys all along, so I suppose I ought to continue even when the news isn’t as positive as I’d like. Here goes.

As you recall, a few days ago I got the 3-week results of my M protein level, a marker for cancerous plasma cells. It had gone down to 0.38, which was an OK result, but not great. It really needs to be zero or close to it. Yesterday I got the 5-week results, and my M protein level has increased to 0.56.

This is obviously bad news. It means I didn’t respond very well to the second round chemotherapy and the stem cell transplant. But there’s no point in wigging out about it yet. I won’t really know what it means until I get a biopsy and talk to my doctor later this month. At the very least, however, it means I’ll definitely begin maintenance therapy, and probably sooner rather than later.

For now, that’s all I know. In early July I should know more.

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We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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