Monday, November 9, 2009

VGPR - Very Good Partial Remission

Today is Monday morning, November 9th and I am at the Huntsman Center starting cycle #4 of my low – dose chemotherapy. I have been off all my cancer meds for the last three weeks and I feel great. I’m sure that is about to change as I start a new cycle of treatment, but there is no other way of killing the beast. So I guess I will just have to do as some of my Idaho in-laws would say, that is, just cowboy-up and deal with it.

The reason for the break in treatment was that I completed three cycles of treatment and could not start the forth until I re-tested (bone marrow biopsy, etc.) and had a visit with Dr. Zangari. Fortunately that process took a few weeks and I got a brief break from the chemo. However, that all happened last week and I am back in treatment today. The visit with the Dr. on Friday turned out to be all good news, not perfect, but overall very good. My Myeloma markers have all improved so I asked him “Am I in complete remission because I would really like to tell my daughters that I am”? His reply was “Let’s just say you are in a very good partial remission”. I thought at the time he was just giving me some weasel words to appease me, but I found out this morning from my P.A. that VGPR (Very Good Partial Remission) is actually one of the categories they use for defining a patient’s level of remission. They are:

Partial Remission
Very Good Partial Remission
Near complete Remission
Complete Remission

So even though I have a ways to go, things are all moving in the right direction and I am optimistic that sometime over the next 9 cycles of chemotherapy we will beat this monster into submission and get to complete remission.

5 comments:

Q said...

Good to hear you are moving in the right direction! Thanks for keeping us updated, and yes, you better just keep cowboyin' it up!

Nat said...

i may know these in-laws from idaho! ;-) hang in there. good luck with round 4. so glad to hear you are improving. the boys still never miss a prayer without praying for uncle steve and his cancer. we love you and lynn.

The Winchester's said...

Yee-ha, cowboy!

Scott Critchlow said...

VGPR is a peculiar term but a good one that we'll definitely take! So glad you are going forward in the whole process. It was great to have lunch with you and Tony the day before your birthday. I look forward to the next time the old farts assemble!! Take care buddy and listen to the " boss"! Have a great Thanksgiving because you DO have so much to be thankful for. Take care and keep keeping on!

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