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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.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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