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  • Writer's pictureMark Pajak

Here we go!



Day 90 arrived. Three months after I got my reconfigured T-Cells, a PET/CT scan was ordered to evaluate my condition. The results of the scans indicate progress and promise. I am incredibly grateful to find out that the protocol appears to have been effective (no specifics given as to what effective means in terms of a possible long term/short term survival) in stemming the progress of my Multiple Myeloma.

My M spike which has always been a marker for my condition was/is down to the “almost too little to measure range.”  The docs seem to believe that over time the M spike will disappear which is what we desire. As always, we shall see.

I will be monitored monthly for the time being (blood draws) with evaluations to follow. No chemo or steroid treatments are currently planned. We want to see how the next three months will play out. I have been reminded on more than one occasion that we are managing not curing the disease. Some type of maintenance program may be initiated at a future date. Right now, however, that is not on the table.

For me, the prognosis provides a break from having to go to the hospital on a routine basis for cancer treatment/chemo infusions. Any break from treatment, even a small one, is much appreciated. It appears that the next three months will be a bit quiet. I have been getting infusions to boost my ANC numbers but that only requires a pretty painless shot in my stomach. There are other concerns that are specific to my type of Multiple Myeloma and specific to my general health that require attention but that is to be expected.

To say that I am grateful for what has transpired is an understatement. Most of my focus over the last five months has been the Car T cell process and its possibility for keeping me going. I know I have written this before, but I still marvel at what has taken place on my behalf. It blows my mind.

I have been on some type of cancer protocol for the last nine plus years. Right now, no protocol. In some ways, it feels empty and a bit weird. For nine plus years my life has included some form of cancer treatment every single day. Now, and in the extremely near future, no treatment/protocol.

I am taking/will take antibiotics and other such pills for the sake of my very reduced immune system. I have been advised to stay away from large crowds or places where people mingle and gather. I must be careful not to put myself in harm’s way. Infection can be deadly.

Accepting the situation as is and moving forward seems straight forward enough although I am not sure what “moving forward” will look like. I am without a clue. It is easier to accept what is in front of me right now than to spend time pondering on the “what ifs” and “maybe’s” that lay ahead. I suspect taking time to process the recent past and possibilities for the near future would do me good.

So, here is something that seems rather peculiar. While traveling the Car T Cell path, people who I have known have died/passed on. While I was struggling with the chemo and the vomiting and the nausea and the general ill-feelings that identify most cancer treatments, others who I have known died. Their books have been written and put on the shelf. I am still kicking. There are no answers.

I am sitting at the computer typing, looking out the window and seeing a blue sky. It is a very pleasant morning. I am here because for now, I have survived. I still get to laugh and worry. I am still capable of having relationships with those I love. I still can root for the Avalanche (NHL hockey). I can go golfing, take a bike ride or a hike. I can help others.

 Frankly but not surprisingly, it seems to mean more now than before.

There really is nothing special about what I have experienced. It is being done on a massive basis at treatment centers all over the world. And I suppose it will be very routine at some point in the future. And then, some other new protocol will be introduced for our benefit because people will have worked to help all of us. That is the way it goes and that is huge. Again, we shall see.

I have a friend who has been through I believe two or three different “types” of cancer. Not protocols mind you but different “types” of cancer. He always seems to be in a good mood. It is amazing. I have heard him complain but not too much and usually only when he shanks a nine iron on a short par three.

Not complaining. Hmm. I love it. I could try it.

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1 Comment


Michael Grzybowski
Michael Grzybowski
Apr 18

Wahoooooooo. Keep it up buddy 💕

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