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I’ve been a little negligent about these updates, but that’s because nothing much is happening. My M-protein level, which is a good proxy for the total cancer load in my plasma, has been stable for the past three months, with a slight uptick in the most recent test:

I saw my doctor today, and he seemed happy enough with everything, especially since my lactate dehydrogenase levels were also OK. I’ve never heard of this before, but apparently if it’s high it indicates cell damage, so a low number is good. All the other test results have also been nice and stable over the past three months.

The only side effects of the chemo are tiredness, which is normal, and a slowly increasing case of peripheral neuropathy, which is also normal. The neuropathy is more-or-less untreatable, and a couple of months ago I started to feel it in my hands for the first time (it usually affects the feet first). My doctor suggested a couple of OTC remedies that some of his patients have reported success with. Unfortunately, he agreed when I told him I’d looked at some of those and there was no clinical evidence that they had any effect. I’d be happy to take them as a placebo, but I suppose that won’t work if I don’t believe in them to begin with. This is one of the downsides of having access to clinical literature via the internet. Oh well.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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