Friday, November 13, 2009

Take that Total Protein!

I know that people discover their Multilple Myeloma through various symptoms like broken bones, big masses where they should not be, recurring infections, etc. For me, three blood clots in two years (1 PE, 2 DVTs) signaled to us that we needed to see a hematologist....or Blood Doctor as I call them. Our Blood Doctor ran the labs and noticed that my Total Protein was near the upper range (8.2), but not too high. For some reason she decided to dig into the number a little bit and sure enough my IgG was 2360; normal being between 620-1520 according to UMHS. This significance of the 2360 wasn't that it was above the normal range, but rather, the issue was that it was above the normal range and I had no signs of illness/infection.



Here's some medical speak from a very non-medical minded person. The IgG (and IgM, IgA, etc.) are good old antibodies that occur in your body that make up your immune system. An elevated IgG would just signal that the immune system is kicked on and the body is following its natural defense system to do some damage (i.e. domination) of the intruders. The problem with my elevated IgG is that there are no intruders....that we know of (I like to think tiny dioxins are at the root of all of this, but I need to raise a lot of money and pay off some smart guy with a PhD to confirm my claim). So my body is pumping out proteins to create plasma cells to go dominate something that they can't find. So they basically collect in my bones, and eventually make it into my blood stream. So calcium from my bones gets pushed out into my bloodstream causing two main problems.
(1) Elevated calcium and protein levels can be hard on the kidney
(2) The calcium that's suppose to be in the bones, is not. Therefore one is prone to bone fractures.

So here is the spectacular news of the day. My Total Protein today was...(drum role please).... 7.6. Normal range is stated as 6.0 to 8.3.

Here is a chart of Phil's Total Protein over the last 15 months, which has finally hit smack dab in the middle of the normal range...hooray for Friday the 13th!



Did you find this post helpful? Please let me know, because I can talk all day on other fascinating topics like chemo side effects, what we learned in Little Rock, and other fun stuff that thanks to Multiple Myeloma I have learned. Please leave a comment so I know you are reading!

Blessings and domination to all,
Phil

27 comments:

Brent said...

Please step away from Excel and go play with your kids. Nerd.

Amy said...

I really like this type of sciency post. Congrats on the Total Protein!

Whit said...

Great news! Congrats Phil!

John said...

We're reading; please keep writing. I like to think I know a lot about MM, but I continue to learn from everyone else's take.

I'd like to hear what you learned in Arkansas.

Keri said...

I'm reading and rooting you (and your family!) on.

Myeloma Dawg said...

Very good narrative; suggest that you do the same with M-spiike and other mm parameters.

Balazers said...

I love how you explained this... for us non medical speak folk. Seriously... I"m so excited that your numbers are done. And I LOVE the graph!!

Cindy said...

Great news son! Like the graph.

Bria said...

awesome news, Phil - dominate that total protein! prayer is awesome, isn't it?

Adam said...

Congratulations, good news to start the weekend with is always nice.

amycarolyn said...

we are reading! thanks for the update - yay for normal range (:

julie said...

GREAT NEWS, Phil!!!

tim's wife said...

So according to your first graphic in this post, you really do
"bleed blue." We went to the doc's today too. I don't buy into all that superstitious stuff. If I was too afraid to kill spiders(like my mother-in-law) we'd be knee-deep in them suckers by now and my 11 year-old would be sleeping in my bed every night!

Miranda said...

Thank you for "dumming it down" for me cause I can follow it. =)

Mustangbz said...

Great news on the total protein number!
Hope you're feeling good.

Liz

Alysa said...

This is great news Phil! I love the science stuff so keep it coming!

Aaron said...

Awesome, Phil. Most awesome for you, but also an awesome explanation. We are with you buddy.

jddeeg said...

That's wonderful news! Thanks for putting the protein thing in non-medical lingo.

tk said...

I wish I didn't know this already!

Teresa

Becky said...

Wow, that was a great explanation. Thanks!

Carol said...

Hu Phil, your comments have been helpful to those of us following behind. It helps to know I'm not alone

Amy said...

Great news! And thanks for that explanation, which I could actually understand. :)

Karen said...

It's always so great to see numbers go into the normal range! Congrats!!

Jill said...

Great News!!! Congrats on your victory!

Funny story: We explained (in 6 year old terms of course) to Garrett the importance of the bracelets. He was very eager to wear it to school. We have had a lot of cancer in our family, so I think he was glad to have something to help him understand what cancer is. Anyhow, he wore it to school and got it taken away for talking during a math lesson. Apparently he was explaining that "his mommy's friend was kicking some bad bugs out of his body" More importantly, that mommy's friend played for Michigan. Cue the "Oooooh's and Aahhhhhh's" from a bunch of 1st graders. Anyhow it caused such a commotion he was asked not to wear it to school. Oops! We now keep his on a clip on his backpack :)

Amy McKenna said...

Congrats on your Protein Levels! I love this post, by the way. I feel like I have a new level of understanding.

Aviva said...

It's a great post. I really appreciated the way you explained some of these things.

I'm Dx'd as MGUS and watching my numbers slowly climb (and hoping they don't speed up) while I wonder if I'll be among the "lucky" ones who ends up with MM. So I really appreciate your sharing both your experiences AND your explaining some of the science.

Thank you!!

EJ & Roo said...

congrats phil!!!! great news.