Here are the latest lab results for my M-protein level. As always, the lower the level, the better my cancer is under control:

So everything is fine. There was a tiny uptick in November, but it’s probably just noise.

Unfortunately, there’s a little more going on. Beginning four weeks ago, I’ve been sick constantly. I get something that feels like a normal stomach bug for a day or two, and then it goes away. But then it comes back. And goes away. And comes back. I’ve stopped counting, but I’m now on my ninth or tenth round. It seems to have nothing to do with food, nothing to do with an actual bug, and nothing to do with whether I’m currently taking my chemo med. (I take Pomalyst for three weeks on, then one week off. I’ve gotten the stomach problems both when I’m on and when I’m off.) Needless to say, perpetual rounds of stomach upset and diarrhea are pretty unpleasant.

The most likely cause is simply that a year of taking Pomalyst has finally produced this side effect, something that’s pretty common with chemo drugs. The usual reason for stopping a particular chemo med is either (a) it stops working or (b) the side effects finally become intolerable, and it’s possible that (b) has kicked in. In any case, I’ll discuss this with my doctor during my next visit.

Possibly related to this is that I’ve been deeply fatigued and depressed for weeks. Now, this could just be random. Moderate depression often comes and goes for no discernable reason. Or it could be physical, possibly linked to my stomach ailments. Or it could be due to external events. That doesn’t typically seem to be the case with me, but God knows there’s been plenty of reason lately. Between COVID-19; Trump’s tweeting; conservative malevolence; progressive blindness; climate change stagnation; and some personal stuff, there are plenty of reasons for me to feel unhappy.

Hopefully this will all go away eventually. In the meantime, it’s reduced my posting frequency for two reasons. First, I’m tired. Second, posting while depressed is a bad idea that mostly produces epic rants. This would probably be pretty entertaining for everyone, but not a good use of time or pixels. For now, I’m going to keep things slow and make sure to edit myself rigorously. I have never trusted myself when I’m in the throes of depression.

POSTSCRIPT: That said, I have no apologies for the headline to the previous post.

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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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