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I’ve been sharing my health status with you guys all along, so I suppose I ought to continue even when the news isn’t as positive as I’d like. Here goes.

As you recall, a few days ago I got the 3-week results of my M protein level, a marker for cancerous plasma cells. It had gone down to 0.38, which was an OK result, but not great. It really needs to be zero or close to it. Yesterday I got the 5-week results, and my M protein level has increased to 0.56.

This is obviously bad news. It means I didn’t respond very well to the second round chemotherapy and the stem cell transplant. But there’s no point in wigging out about it yet. I won’t really know what it means until I get a biopsy and talk to my doctor later this month. At the very least, however, it means I’ll definitely begin maintenance therapy, and probably sooner rather than later.

For now, that’s all I know. In early July I should know more.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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