Don Schuurman | CaringBridge

Don Schuurman Don Schuurman

First post: Aug 19, 2018 Latest post: Aug 23, 2018

I thought I would let you know about the journey I have been on the past few months. I was experiencing pain in my upper back that radiated around to the front of my chest and my primarily care doctor thought it was a muscle-skeletal issue. I was referred to a chiropractor and then to physical therapy. When neither of these treatments helped, they did an x-ray of my chest and found a soft tissue mass.

 After multiple CT scans and MRI's, blood work and biopsies, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that invades the plasma cells in your bone marrow. I have a paraspinal tissue mass that is impinging on my spinal cord and it has destroyed vertebrae in my thoracic spine and fractured the adjacent rib. I also have marrow reducing bone lesions throughout my spine that have caused a compression fracture, destruction of other vertebrae and holes in my sacrum, pelvic and hip region. Needless to say, I was in excruciating pain.

 We are working with an oncologist from Cancer & Hematology Centers of West MI and my pain has become manageable. I have one more of 16 radiation treatments to go and then I begin Immunotherapy treatment. This lasts about 18 weeks and if my blood work looks good, I will then have a stem cell/bone marrow transplant with the hope of putting the cancer in remission. Multiple myeloma is not curable, but they've made great advances in treatment over the last 10 years, so Shelley and I remain hopeful about the future. We are very grateful for good health insurance, the loving support of family, friends and our church and we cling to the promise that God is walking beside us every step of the way.     

We plan to use this CaringBridge Website to keep family and friends updated in one place. I will try to complete a journal entry once a week and look forward to hearing from you as well. Thank you for visiting!

If you want to learn more about Multiple Myeloma~ you can check out these web sites:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-myeloma/symptoms-causes/syc-20353378
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiple-myeloma.html


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