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Brenda Elthon's Journey
Apr 8, 2017 Latest post:
Apr 29, 2017
Welcome! I created this page to keep my family and friends up to date on my stem cell transplant journey.
As many of you know, this adventure began Sunday, November 27, 2016. I hadn't been feeling well for several days so my husband, Dwight, insisted that I go to the emergency room in Faribault to get checked out. We assumed I had some sort of bug I just couldn’t shake. However, within two hours I was in an ambulance headed to Mayo where I was immediately admitted and would spend the next 12 days in the hospital. Much to my surprise, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma—the very same disease that had taken my dad 40 years earlier. By this time my health was failing quickly and was causing near-total kidney failure that resulted in me becoming very confused and in need of dialysis, among other things.
Through the efforts of an amazing medical care team, the support of my fantastic family, and the thoughts and prayers of countless additional family and friends, on December 8th I was headed home with a walker and all.
Over the next six weeks I slowly gained back my strength. By January, I was able to be on my own again and finally drive!!! I returned to work part time in late January and returned full time four weeks later.
To fight the Myeloma, I began chemotherapy in the hospital and continued through mid-March with a total of four courses of chemo that were each four weeks in duration. I was very blessed to experience only minor side effects from all of these drugs.
At the end of February an appointment with a transplant doctor was scheduled. I assumed this was to formally review the process and discuss a date later in the summer for next steps. I was wrong!!! The doctor felt that the time was right for the transplant and the sooner the better. When I shared with the transplant doctor my plan for a two-week vacation in the Dominican Republic in early March that had been previously approved by my hematology care team, he agreed to wait to begin the process on March 31.