Friday, April 8, 2011

What is Remission?

Remission? Remission?? Remission?????

Thursday, April 7 was the 6th month anniversary of the date that Bob was originally diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. And, on this anniversary, we received the call that he was in remission!

Any day would have been a great day to get such a call - but to receive it on an anniversary of the date that he was diagnosed was, somehow, monumental!

What is remission? There are different classifications of remission - complete and partial remission.

Complete remission means that there are no signs or symptoms of cancer. This can mean the cancer has been cured, or cancer may still be present in the body.

Partial remission refers to the point when few signs and symptoms of cancer remain, however there is a noticeable decrease of cancer cells.

We have no idea, at this point, what type of remission Bob is experiencing. We're just happy that his M-Spike is "undetectable" (no cancer cells could be found in his blood). And, his Serum Light Chains are within the normal range (another way that Multiple Myeloma is detected, and measured).

At some point, he'll have to undergo another BMB (Bone Marrow Biopsy) to determine if there are still cancer cells in his Bone Marrow....but right now, we're just celebrating the fact that his M-Spike (cancer count) is showing nothing!!!!!

Pinch me...make sure I'm not dreaming!!


  1. OMG! Sarah! What great news! Just to give you my experience. Remission is Complete Remission, no detectable evidence in labs (not lesions as they are still working to disappear over time). Generally, a facility will say, Very Good Partial Response, Near Remission, or Complete Remission. Stringent Complete Remission is a much higher standard, but no one is doing that test routinely as it is expensive and does not insure a better outcome, though for us, it seems like a bigger prize! So... from your friendly, unqualified medical wannabe, MM caregiver...CON-GRAT-U-LATIONS!!!!!!! WOW, YOU HAVE MADE MY DAY!

    And tell Bob, now that he has experienced ALL the side effects, he can pass them up in the future and get himself feeling better and back on the golf course! Even if he is just driving the cart while his buddies are swinging - hurling barbs and jokes at them and making sure they don't cheat in the tall grass!

  2. Lori: Bob's oncologist said "the M-Component is undetectable and his Serum Free Light Chains are in the normal range".

    He's still going to complete this round of Chemo, and at some point they'll do another Bone Marrow Aspiration. (Bob would be okay with not having that done!!)

    We're lucky, he's never had any lesions.

    Bob can't wait until he can get back onto the golf course, and into his shop. I'm so glad those may soon be options.

    I so appreciate your knowledge, and insight, into this new part of our journey!