On May 10th, Bernita was admitted to Avera McKennan Hospital due to high potassium and renal failure. Dialysis was started at that time. Over the next week, many tests and lab work was completed to determine the reason for the renal failure. After a very long week, the diagnosis was Multiple Myeloma. Chemotherapy started on May 19th, which consisted of an oral chemotherapy pill for 21 days along with a weekly shot. After one month of treatments, Dr. Galal reported improvements in the myeloma indicators and the discussion of a stem cell transplant was discussed. Another month of pills/shots was prescribed. On June 30th, Bernita was admitted to McKennan with a fever, resulting in a hospitalization until July 5th. On July 27th, we met with the transplant team to complete a comprehensive evaluation. At that time, Dr. Galal ordered another bone marrow biopsy, which indicated there was no evidence of any cancer cells. This remission started the stem cell process.
On August 5th-8th , Bernita started to receive the growth hormone shots to stimulate the production of stem cells in her body. The stem cell collection started on August 9th, and continued until the 11th. This involved a process called aphresis and took about 7 hours each day to complete. She will be admitted on August 16th to receive an IV chemotherapy, with the reinfusion of stem cells to follow on the 17th.