Jul 10, 2019 Latest post:
Nov 22, 2019
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. Many of you know of my journey through this health challenge, but many may not know at all. In May of 2017, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. It was while watching my lab results following breast cancer that my oncologist saw abnormal results and was able to diagnose my disease. At this stage, I experienced no symptoms. It was the smoldering stage of the disease, so she continued to monitor me for a change in lab results or the appearance of symptoms. I would have been perfectly fine with continuing in that smoldering stage, but that was not God's plan. I did begin to have some pain in my ribs and back, as well as muscles. Physical therapy helped some, but I had experienced a change in lab results also. So in January of this year I began medical tests and saw a change in my labs also. In March I began a regimen of chemotherapy. The chemo I had was specific to my bone marrow, so I was blessed not to be sick or lose my hair. I have had some side effects from the medications, but knew that meant they were working. Greg and I came to Seattle in May to have our initial consult for a stem cell transplant. The doctor we saw was amazed at how well I had responded to the chemotherapy! The numbers they were watching had already been decreased by one half. God has been so good in answering pray in so many ways! We had been concerned about the cost of the medication, but He provided for that also. By the end of May, the lab test they had been watching had gone down to a very small level. That was about a month before we had expected! (Another answer to prayer!) We were then scheduled to come to Seattle on June 25 for our first appointment. Greg and I have been here in Seattle since then. We were able to move into an apartment here that is somewhat connected to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. That was another answer to prayer, since we were on a wait list and had not expected to be able to get in as quickly as we did. Daily, I have gone to tests and meetings. This medical team will know everything about me and my body before they do the transplant. We have been able to be out in public during this portion of the time here, since I still have my immune system. That will change in about a week. On Friday, I will have a central line inserted and be admitted to UW hospital to receive another regimen of chemo to destroy the cancer cells that have come back a little. In our meeting last week, the doctor informed me that my lab result had increased a little, so we would need to go this direction. We had hoped to just be able to harvest my own stem cells now, but do not want to harvest any cancer cells in them. It will add about 2 weeks to my stay in Seattle, but I am just to grateful to have an effective treatment option and a great team to do it. Greg will return to Montana next week, so I will have a variety of caregivers to come here. After the stem cells are harvested, I will still receive a dose of very strong chemotherapy then the transplant. I will get pretty sick and have no immune system for awhile. I will get a new one! During this time, I need to stay away from anyone who is even thinking about being sick, away from dust, away from plants, cannot even clean and will be weak. I definitely will appreciate my caregivers!! If all goes well, I should be home toward the middle of September. My desire is to trust God through every step and honor Him in every detail! Please pray for opportunities to be a light to the people around me as I go through this process. You could also pray for effective treatment, few side effects and health protection for the caregivers. Thank you for all the prayers and encouragement many of you have given me thus far. I so appreciate them all! I will continue to keep you posted about the details of this journey God has me on right now.