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Do you want a quick summary or all the gory details? The details, of course. Because, really, what’s better than listening to an acquaintance ramble on about their health issues?

So: My M-protein marker test—a good proxy for the level of cancerous bone marrow cells—is down from 0.72 last month to 0.63 this month. This is the right direction, but not the right magnitude. So we’re going to increase my Revlimid maintenance from 10 mg to 15 mg. This puts at me at a slightly higher risk of blood clots, which means that I will also be starting a daily baby aspirin regimen.

Blood clots aside, the main side effect of the Revlimid is that it weakens your immune system. This is measured primarily by looking at your neutrophil count. Yours is probably around 5000 or so. Mine is now down to 1800. Anything above 1000 is OK, but obviously this is getting close to worrisome. So now we’re doing a balancing act: we want to use the highest dose of Revlimid that still keeps me out of the immune system red zone. It will take several months to figure out what that is.

And speaking of this, it turns out that following the stem cell transplant I now have what’s effectively a baby immune system. This means that in a month or so I’ll start going through all the usual baby immunizations. Not all, actually, but a bunch. Fun.

On a positive note, apparently my bones are in good enough shape that I’ll be allowed to do strenuous stuff if my back fully recovers. So that’s something to look forward to. Assuming my back ever fully recovers, of course.

And finally, a test to see if my sister reads all the way to the end: I now have permission to clean the cat litter box. So you don’t need to come over tonight.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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