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I’ve been a little negligent about these updates, but that’s because nothing much is happening. My M-protein level, which is a good proxy for the total cancer load in my plasma, has been stable for the past three months, with a slight uptick in the most recent test:

I saw my doctor today, and he seemed happy enough with everything, especially since my lactate dehydrogenase levels were also OK. I’ve never heard of this before, but apparently if it’s high it indicates cell damage, so a low number is good. All the other test results have also been nice and stable over the past three months.

The only side effects of the chemo are tiredness, which is normal, and a slowly increasing case of peripheral neuropathy, which is also normal. The neuropathy is more-or-less untreatable, and a couple of months ago I started to feel it in my hands for the first time (it usually affects the feet first). My doctor suggested a couple of OTC remedies that some of his patients have reported success with. Unfortunately, he agreed when I told him I’d looked at some of those and there was no clinical evidence that they had any effect. I’d be happy to take them as a placebo, but I suppose that won’t work if I don’t believe in them to begin with. This is one of the downsides of having access to clinical literature via the internet. Oh well.

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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.

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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.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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