The Long Farewell: Intimations of Mortality

The bad news is, I’ve got multiple myeloma. The good news, such as it is, is that it looks like it’s the so-called smouldering myeloma variety, AKA dumpster fire in your bones.

TLDR: It’s blood cancer. It’s incurable. It’s controllable. I have an early stage.

MM normally starts out as MGUS, or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. MGUS converts to MM at the rate of about 1.5% per year. Mine may have been that way for ten or 15 years, undetected. Since the treatment for MGUS is hide and watch, that was fine. In fact the treatment for smouldering is still hide and watch, but at a somewhat more watchful level.

I don’t know much more than that right now. When I get back from Japan, we’ll do a full body MRI and pee in a bottle for 24hrs. Ask me again in October.

Not much available on survival statistics for MM, not because it’s an exotic disease, but because doctors are terrible at reporting statistics. The best I can find is that the survival rate for full up MM, untreated, is 7 months. Treated 5yr survival 49% . Assume median (and mean) survival is 60 months. Range is then 7 – 113, StdDev ~ 0.25*range = 28 months. This is not totally accurate, because the curve is not normal, on account of the 0-month wall on the left. The curve is skewed right by an unknown amount.

In any event, the clock doesn’t start ticking until the smouldering bursts into flame, and who knows when that will be. Still, I’m dumping my long-term Treasury Notes.

I am off to Japan in 12hrs or so, and my responses will be erratic. The family request that all messages of support and condolence be sent to the Democratic National Committee.






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One Response to “The Long Farewell: Intimations of Mortality”

  1. The Long Farewell: I Aten’t Ded* | FoundOnWeb Says:

    […] last we saw Our Hero, he’d contracted a case of the myelomas, and was worried about his future. We pick up our story early on Respect for the Aged […]

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