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12/26/2016 Latest post:
My journey begins: I had been sick for several months with severe pain and other medical issues. I finally decided to make another appointment with my primary care provider. Upon being seen and referred to multiple doctors/specialists in August and September, another follow up MRI, bone density scan and multiple blood tests; I still had no answers. I had an episode that sent me to the emergency room at the hospital, we went to Vidiant in Greenville. I was admitted with acute kidney injury, a whole different issue than what I went to the emergency room for treatment. Many tests were completed and upon discharge I was still awaiting results. I followed up with my kidney doctor on 10/04/2016. As standard procedure, blood work was completed to check status of kidney function. At 6:45 am on 10/06/2016 my kidney doctor called me asking me to come to the hospital immediately because my test from 10/04/2016 showed my kidney's were only working at 5% capacity. My husband and sister immediately took me to Vidiant in Greenville to be admitted. I recall admission vaigly. The next five days were life changing. Multiple teams worked to get me stabilized and work towards getting final answers to all of my medical conditions. Due to kidney's not functioning at full capacity, I was put on dialysis 10/07/2016. On 10/10/2016, Hematology/Oncology sent in a team to discuss medical history and medical records I had presented to staff. Preliminary findings lead my specialists to believe I had cancer. A bone density biopsy was completed on 10/11/2016. As my family and I anxiously awaited results, so many things went through my mind. This was the longest four days of my life. Dialysis continued throughout the week. On Friday, 10/14/2016, Dr. Liles confirmed that I had been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a systemic malignancy of plasma cells that typically involves multiple sites within the bone marrow that secrete all or part of a monoclonal antibody.1 Abnormal accumulation of these monoclonal plasma cells in the bone marrow causes the primary characteristics of multiple myeloma; Interference with primary bone marrow function leading to anemia and/or low white blood cell or platelet counts; Bone destruction surrounding the bone marrow cavity;Production of monoclonal proteins that are released into the blood and/or urine; and Reduced immune function indicated by decreased levels of normal immunoglobulins and increased susceptibility to infection. My mind was so overwhelmed by the news. The process to treat my cancer moved quickly. We met with chemo team on 10/15/2016 and I received my first treatment that same day. Our lives as we had know it changed 180 degrees. I quickly responded to the dialysis and was able to be treated 3 times a week. Time flew by fast, as I began to adjust to a new daily routine. My sister had taken notes on all procedures, visits by physicians/specialists, therapists, social workers and nurses. As I regained clarity of mind, I read all the details and began to see the many miracles God had provided during this journey. Each day was like a puzzle piece that fit into a big picture, one I could not see all of at this point. How big is your God? My God is big! He provided compassionate and christian CNA's, nurses, doctors, care partner staff and many others to encourage me, pray with me, and my family members during the hospital stays. Several even followed up with us after we moved to the oncology section of the hospital. MY GOD is BIG! I finally became stable to come home and begin the journey of chemo treatments on 10/19/2016. My chemo regimine was a weekly shot and oral medications each Wednesday. As my kidney's improved the decision was made to take me off dialysis!! This was such great news!! My procedure to have my perma cath removed was my Thanksgiving present! Life as a norm continued as we traveled to and from Greenville weekly. Several goals were outlined at the onset of my cancer diagnosis; aggressive chemo treatment to get tumor markers as low as possible within 4-6 months and work towards getting within range to have a bone marrow transplant. This brings us up to this past week's news, see the following journal update for more details.