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The short version: nothing has changed. The long version: nothing has changed.

Literally. The M-protein level that we track so assiduously has stayed at the exact same level for four months running. The exact same level down to the hundredth of a gram. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m just being humored and they’re only pretending to do the lab work. The guy is nuts about his M-protein level. Just mark down 0.58 and forget about it.

Everything else is stable and relatively normal too. My immune system is, of course, compromised by the chemo meds, but it remains in tolerably good condition. My red blood cells are fine. My platelet count is sometimes a little low, but not enough to be worried about. I go through weird cycles of fatigue (Friday was unusually bad, for example), but nothing close to what happened during the initial rounds of chemo. Mostly I just have to take naps more often than I used to. My neuropathy is annoying but seemingly fairly stable. And now that I’m off the evil dex, I’m no longer gaining weight. Sadly, I’m not losing it either. Even cancer can’t kill off my weakness for chocolate.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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