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Everything is good news this month. My M-protein level continues to decline, which means the level of cancerous plasma cells in my bone marrow is declining too. I’m still a long way from zero, but heading in the right direction.

At the same time, my immune system rebounded. Last month I was down to 1,300, which is uncomfortably close to the danger level of 1,000. This month I’m back up to 1,900, so perhaps March was just an outlier.

In other news, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review has released a report evaluating the tsunami of new multiple myeloma treatments that have been brought to market recently. Three of them received a grade of B+, which sounds pretty good—although it turns out to mean only “moderate certainty of a small net health benefit.” In numbers, that’s an increased survival rate of 5-9 months. And do you remember all those recent news reports about how pricey new cancer treatments are these days? This is now more than an intellectual curiosity for me. These new drugs are really, really expensive: upwards of $400,000 per year of extra life.

And who pays for this? In the narrowest sense, Mother Jones. In a broader sense, everyone who pays premiums to Kaiser Permanente. And in the broadest sense of all, everyone in the country. So you have to decide: is it worth $400,000 to have Kevin Drum around for an extra year? That depends a lot on whether you happen to be Kevin Drum, doesn’t it?

But there’s no need to decide yet. It will likely be years before I need a third-line treatment, and by then maybe something better will be around. Personally, I’m counting on nanobots, so get cracking, nanotechnologists.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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