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In our last episode of Health Update, my M-protein level was starting to rise, indicating that the Revlimid was losing effectiveness and the multiple myeloma was staging a comeback. This is normal and expected after two years. When it got above 1.0, it would be time to switch to a second-line treatment. In the end, I got nearly three years out of the Revlimid, but the time has now come to move on:

The new treatment will consist of an oral version of my old friend Velcade teamed up with Darzalex, a monoclonal antibody that’s one of the slew of new treatments that have been approved over the past few years. I will also once again be taking the evil dex, a sleep killer marketed as a corticosteroid. During my last round of dex, I used my treatment nights to write a 40-page tutorial on special and general relativity. I can’t really say why I did that, but I’m sure it would have been a publishing sensation if I had ever published it.

Anyway, the new treatment will start in a week or so. It’s once a week for two months, then once every two weeks for two months, and then once a month. The total length of time depends on how I respond. Once the M-proteins are back under control, I’ll begin a maintenance routine which will hopefully last a couple of years. Keep your fingers crossed.

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We need to start raising significantly more in donations from our online community of readers, especially from those who read Mother Jones regularly but have never decided to pitch in because you figured others always will. We also need long-time and new donors, everyone, to keep showing up for us.

In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

Please learn more about how Mother Jones works and our 47-year history of doing nonprofit journalism that you don't elsewhere—and help us do it with a donation if you can. We've already cut expenses and hitting our online goal is critical right now.

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