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Taylorsville, NC, United States
Hi all. I am age 57 and was happily married to Irene for 27 years until her untimely death on March 24th, 2012. I have 3 children, 2 sons, 1 daughter, and 1 grandson and 2 granddaughters, . My hobby and favorite past time for 22 years as of October 16, 2018 is "Amateur Radio", better known as Ham Radio. I make friends all over the world using voice, digital, and International Morse Code. CW (Morse Code) is my favorite mode!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Multiple Myeloma Update + Ham Radio Update

      It's been quiet a while since I've posted anything, let alone an update on my battle with Multiple Myeloma (MM). The main reason for this is my MM was in remission for 3 years & 4 months after my autologous stem cell transplant (SCT) in late 2007, but returned in stage 1 back in March 2011 with an m-spike protein level of 1.1. For those reading my blog not familiar with what MM is here's a definition: Multiple myeloma, also known as plasma cell myeloma or Kahler's disease (after Otto Kahler), is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cells normally responsible for the production of antibodies. Collections of abnormal cells accumulate in bones, where they cause bone lesions (abnormal areas of tissue), and in the bone marrow where they interfere with the production of normal blood cells. Most cases of myeloma also feature the production of a paraprotein, an abnormal antibody that can cause kidney problems and interferes with the production of normal antibodies leading to immunodeficiencyHypercalcemia (high calcium levels) is often encounteredAfter my SCT I had bloodwork done every quarter of the year so if it did return it would be caught hopefully in an early stage and that worked out well because it showed up in stage 1 in March. I immediately returned to Wake Forest University's Comprehensive Cancer Center in Winston-Salem, NC for an appointment with my oncologist, Associate Professor Dr. Denise Levitan, to begin treatment again. She put me on a drug called Revlimid, the brand name, but the actual drug name is Lenalidomide. This along with dexamethasone which I take 5 pills at once every 7 days for 3 weeks each month. I get 1 week off of both drugs each month and so far the combination of the 2 are working well for me. Just last month my m-spike protein level dropped all the way to 0.10! That's almost in complete remission again! Oh yeah, for a detailed description of what a M-spike protein is go to this: http://www.pathologystudent.com/?p=3007 . M-spike proteins show up in both blood tests and urine tests. Anyway, that's where I'm currently at in my cancer battle. There is no known cure for MM, but you can live a lot of years with it because it is treatable and I'm hopeful that someday a cure will be found. I feel pretty good most of the time, but I have occasional bad feeling days as well. For lots more info on multiple myeloma check out http://www.margaret.healthblogs.org/ and all the links on http://www.myelomablogs.org as well.
      As far as my radio hobby goes I always have fun on ham radio! I check in frequently with all my friends on the Freewheelers Net on 3916 Khz and am also having a lot of fun operating CW (Morse Code) with the Straight Key Century Club, I'm SKCC#652. Last check SKCC has 8,460 members as of October 6th, 2011! I also participate with the QRP guys in the North American QRP CW Club, I'm NACCC#1491 and with the Flying Pigs QRP International Club, I'm FP#1183. Well, that's my much needed update so I'm gonna run for now and work some of the October SKCC Weekend Sprintathon which had only 3 hours left of which I've yet to work any of this month so hope to hear you on the air! 


Very 73,
Cliff - KU4GW 

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