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In late February 2019, Jeff had some lower back pain after snow blowing and felt more a pop when filling and lifting corn for the deer feeders. You know he was in pain when he asked Julie to help him load the bags of corn in the back of the side by side. Funny note, she dumped half a bag on herself as she is shorter than the bucket. He fought through the pain for a couple weeks then decided to see a doctor. He was prescribed muscle relaxers and then a subsequent prescription as these were not helping.
On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, Jeff went to see a different doctor as the muscle relaxers were not working. At this time, they took x-rays of his lower spine. There they found a white spot on the L1 of his lower back. The doctor asked Jeff some questions that we answered no. This perplexed the doctor as these were cancer related, we now know. Since those questions didn't reveal anything, they started testing for herniated disc and decided to do an MRI.
Then on Thursday, March 28, 2019, they performed an MRI on Jeff in Mora. Julie went with him to this appointment. He was taken back to the room for a normal MRI. This seemed to have taken longer than expected to Julie but then a nurse came out to say that they were now doing a contrast MRI. After about an hour, Jeff was done and we stopped for lunch. Afterwards, Jeff dropped Julie off at work. He was heading home when he got the call from the doctor they wanted to see him as soon as possible. As it turned out, he was about 15 minutes from the clinic in Pine City so he headed over there to see the doctor. While at the clinic, they performed a CT scan on his skeletal system. The white spot on the x-ray turned into a black spot on the MRI and they found another one lower on his spine. At this time, he was told that they had consulted a oncologist and initially diagnosed him with metastatic bone cancer. There was a hole in the vertebra that also had a compression fracture causing his pain. He also has a hole in the base of his skull and in his left upper arm where that cancer had been eating at his bone.
Monday, April 1st, we met with the oncologist for him to perform a bone marrow to confirm his diagnoses. Dr Halvorson did a local sedation but Jeff still felt pressure as the probe was pushed into his bone. We were told that he was certain Jeff had Multiple Myeloma which is a cancer of the plasma cells. On Thursday, April 4th, we received the confirmation from the Oncologist that Jeff's tests confirmed he has Multiple Myeloma.
April 9th, Jeff started his chemo treatments. The first month he took a chemo pill called Revlimid daily and received sub dermal shots twice a week in his belly. He had a week off then started his second round with Revlimid and sub dermail shots once a week. This continued for another 3 months.
Mid-May we were referred to the Mayo in Rochester. There we met with our Oncologist, Dr. Hayman and did 3 days of testing to make sure Jeff's system was ready for a stem cell transplant.
Then again, we were at that Mayo the beginning of August for 4 days. We had educational classes, Jeff had more blood drawn and another bone marrow done (this time sedated), echo-cardiogram, kidney function testing, electrocardiogram, sinus imaging, chest imaging, pulmonary lab testing, CT skeletal imaging, dental visit and numerous office visits with different specialist.