Welcome to our CaringBridge site. It will keep you current on Blair's illness, diagnosed at the end of 2007, and his progress.
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Blair and Pam are deeply grateful for your prayers, your love and encouragement and your support.
On Dec. 18, 2007 Blair was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. It is a fairly rare form of cancer, considered treatable, but not curable. Blair remains hopeful about the prospects for successful treatment, and faces this challenge with courage and grace and his wife, Pam, at his side.
In the wake of a procedure on his back that first week, called vertebroplasty, efforts continue to manage the pain that results from the cancer, as well as the damage the cancer has done to his bones.
Blair's near-term treatment plans include continued pain management and physical therapy, and a steriod (Dexamethazone), that'll be used in conjunction with a cancer treatment called Revlimid.
Because this is a cancer that weakens the bones, Blair is taking calcium, along with Aranesp to address anemia and boost the red blood cells.
Future treatments, depending on how Blair responds, include other forms of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant. But that would be down the line if necessary.
Blair's oncologist is a youngster named Paul Thurmes with Minnesota Oncology Hematology. He calls Blair's cancer "somewhat aggressive," but again he seems very encouraged and encouraging and we like him a lot.
Rather than go into a lot of detail about multiple myeloma, I'll refer you to the Mayo Clinic website, where there's some good information about the disease and treatment. Blair's condition and treatment are very consistent with what you'll find on the Mayo site.
The hope is that Blair will respond well to treatment and go into remission. That is our prayer.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell present in bone marrow. In multiple myeloma, a group of abnormal plasma cells (myeloma cells) multiplies, raising the number of plasma cells to a more than normal level.
The result can be erosion of the bones. The disease also interferes with the function of bone marrow and the immune system, which can lead to anemia and infection. Multiple myeloma may also cause kidney problems.
The disease is called multiple myeloma because myeloma cells can occur in multiple bone marrow sites in the body. You can find the Mayo Clinic website by clicking on the links page at the top of this page.