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7/5/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.Hello dear ones,What a long strange trip I have been on these last 2 months. Initially I injured my left forearm and was treated for tendonitis. After a week of steroids, rest and ice, I was sent to PT for strengthening, where it was thought I may have a small tear of my rotator cuff. I was referred to a local orthopedic surgeon who took and xray which showed numerous "tumors" in a;ll 3 bones imaged. At this point we thought I had something called encondroma, benign cartilage tumors. After an MRI and bone scan I was referred to a tumor specialist/orthopedic surgeon who imaged my entire body and found tumors throughout my bones, giving me the dx of multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells that destroys the immune system and weakens the bones. After labs, a bone marrow biopsy, and more images, my prognosis is good. I really have no symptoms at this time, my calcium levels are WNL, my kidneys are functioning WNL, I am not anemic and I have the "good" chromosome. I do have achiness and fatigue but then again, I am a middle aged women doing physical young persons work so.....Next stops were with a local oncologist and then his colleague who specializes in multiple myeloma. The good news is MM is treatable, and there have been incredible strides in the last 5 years not only in research but in treatments. MM is not curable but is controllable. I will begin treatment in the next few weeks. Treatment will be 2 days a week for 2 weeks on and 1 week off for anywhere from 4-12 months, depending on how I respond. My oncologist believes I am a very healthy person who happens to have cancer and has stated numerous times he has every expectation of my body responding well to treatment. Lets hope!!Treatment will be 2 oral meds, dexamthasone a steroid, revlimid a immunomodulatory drug to strengthen my immune system, and a subcutaneous injection of velcade a chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells; as well as once a month an IV infusion of zometa, a bisphosphonate to strengthen my bones. I have been taking Phoenix Tears as well as continuing my daily use of black elderberry and dandelion. Both the elderberry and dandelion I truly believe have helped keep me health and symptom free this far. My hope is to be able to return to work in August.For now, Rick and I are still fairly paralyzed by all this and taking things one day at a time. I am finding it difficult to switch from caregiver to patient and have been staying home, working my gardens and trying to get my head around the self image of cancer patient. I can not express how grateful we are for all the outpouring of kind words and offers of help. We really do not know how I will react to the treatments, for now we are holding our own, but I imagine once treatments begin we will need some help.I love you all and ask that you keep me in your heart....