Jamie Howard | CaringBridge

Jamie Howard

First post: Dec 9, 2017 Latest post: May 10, 2018
Hello friends and family.  Chip and I have built this page to keep everyone informed of my recent cancer diagnosis.  Bet you never saw that coming, well neither did we.  Let me provide you with some additional background and color on how this all began and where things stand right now.  

Over the summer, I began to experience severe shoulder and back pain and thought that this was just related to my frequent travelling for work.  After the pain did not subside with my normal Massage Therapy, I decided to seek additional medical attention to review the pain I was continuing to encounter.  I was prescribed steroids and this brought me enough relief and comfort to partake in the Howard Wild Wild West vacation this summer that I shared via FB.  Once we returned home, so did the pain.  

Next step was to see my Primary Care Physician to dig into what other alternatives we should evaluate to get the pain under control.  At this juncture, it was determined that my symptoms were pointing to a potential problem with my neck and spine.  Order up my first MRI.  The results showed bone spurs that were pressing on my spinal column, but this didn't coordinate with the physical symptoms that were continuing to linger.  So then we flew to Tampa to visit the Spinal Institute to get a second opinion.  Both assessments were in alignment that the bone spurs were NOT the issue.  

By this point in time, the pain in my left arm was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life (including child labor).  The neurosurgeon ordered up a x-ray to get a baseline view of my arm.  Before I could return from the x-Ray room, the doc had already called a colleague in the orthopedic oncology department.  What was identified on the x-Ray was a tumor so large that it has eaten away my humerus bone and ball point.  YUCK!  And what the hell.  Now we know why the pain was so intense.  

Next step was to get baseline readings on where this all started and what caused it.  So in the course of 5 working days, I underwent MRI's for virtually every part of my body.  Sprinkled with bone scans, CT's, biopsies, and x-Rays.  Not exactly how I planned to spend the months of September & October.  Oh yea, there was also a 10 day stint in the 'clink' (ie, the hospital) as I resulted a spectacular 65/45 blood pressure.  Nice, right.  

So now I have a strong Oncology team assembled and focused on how to get me better, and a course of treatment to achieve that goal.  The treatment plan started with 15 days of Radiation to both of my arms to shrink the tumors identified, in addition to starting Chemotherapy for the spots identified outside of my arm tumors.  

At this point, we know I have Cancer.  However, we haven't been able to identify the root source still.  And yes, we have sought out a second opinion from some of the top experts in the country, and they are aligned with the opinion of the team in Greenville.  Perfect, everyone agrees!  So officially, I have Cancer, with an unknown origin.

Presently, I am doing okay.  Chip has been AMAZING and the best Project Manager to keep me on track and manage all the medications, appointments, and insurance debacles.  Dylan and Hunter are great assistants and helping with tasks around the house, and smothering mama with lots of love and support.  They are strong boys!  My mom is a constant support channel and helping me with baths, clothing, and general encouragement.

The intent of this page is to keep everyone informed of my progress as information is available.  Respectfully, I would be most grateful if you would refrain from sharing things you have Googled as treatments plans.  We can assure you that there is nothing that we haven't extensively researched, carefully considered, and included in my specific treatment plan from my panel of experts, which include Greenville Memorial Cancer Institute, Duke University, Mass General, Dana Farber Institute, Brigham & Womens, and Best Doctors.  So we have it covered. 

Thank you so much for your support, good thoughts and LOVE.  This is really what will continue to lift me up on the 'hard' days, but the ONLY option I have and will focus on is to 'Kill the Beast' and get this all behind me.


As a way to support us, a Meal Train was created.  Here is the link:  https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/0nqwo4

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