Posted by: Barbara | June 10, 2008


Mario went to see Dr. Dushkin yesterday for his monthly progress report, based on recent bood work. Dr. Dushkin walked in with a happy expression on her face, which usually indicates good news. Mario’s IGA count has dropped to 1,629 (lowest ever) ! He is still on the combination of Dex, Velcade and Cytoxan (round 2). While on Revlamid during his 1st chemo treatment, his IGA count dropped as low as 1,700, then plateaued and rose to 2,500. His white blood cell count dropped very low, therefore, it was necessary to take him off of this regimen of meds.

Dr. Dushkin was able to contact Dr. Bodras of the University of Maryland Medical Center while Mario was getting his chemo treatment. We had recently consulted with Dr. Bodras concerning a stem cell transplant. Bodras suggested that we proceed with 2 more rounds of chemo (Velcade, Cyntoxan) and then talk about freezing stem cells. They prefer to take the stem cells while they are the healthiest. The stem cells can then be stored and used at a later time, if necessary.

Dr. Dushkin also wants to do a bone marrow bioposy to check the level of plasma cells. This is an outpatient procedure which gives a very accurate reading.

Mario has been feeling well and continues to work at Goddard every day. He is unable to travel but seems to be content to stay here. Perhaps that is due to the unpredictable and very expensive airline travel these days. He has regained much of his energy and is back to doing chores around the house and at the beach. He has been cleaning gutters as well as power washing decks. I try to keep him from over-extending himself, but have found it an impossible task. Recently, we were at the beach and out the window I can see the ladder extending up to the roof. I found Mario on the front roof cleaning out the gutters. Broken bones are a real possibility with MM. Perhaps we need a tracking device to monitor his activities…..thanks for your continued support!



  1. Keep up the good work, Uncle! When you are finished with all those chores in Bowie and at the beach, I can put you to work in Olney. Take care.

  2. Hello, Barbara,

    Your Mario is amazing! I cannot believe that he has enough energy to clean gutters and work every day! I think of you and your journey and look forward to lunch again! Take care!

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