After some months of dealing with back discomfort, on July 21, Jim sought treatment with an orthopedist, who took x-rays and confirmed that he had 2 compression fractures in his low back and recommended kyfoplasty (a surgery during which cement-type material is inserted into the vertebra to help alleviate pain and for stabilization). A follow-up MRI revealed 2 tumors on the spine, and the orthopedist immediately referred Jim to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. On July 27, Jim met with a neurosurgeon oncologist who scheduled the kyfoplasty and indicated it appeared to be multiple myeloma cancer (a cancer of certain cells of the bone marrow called plasma cells), incurable but treatable. Plasma cells in the bone marrow become malignant and produce tumors causing bone destruction resulting in pain and fracture. A bone marrow biopsy was done and then kyfoplasty. This was all accomplished by the good doctors at Moffitt less than 2 weeks after his first appointment at Moffitt. Jim met with a hematology oncologist 5 days after the kyfoplasty. More blood work, bone surveys, PET scan and other tests confirmed multiple myeloma. A treatment course was outlined, but before treatment could be scheduled, Jim developed pain in his left arm. PET scan revealed areas of myeloma on the left arm and right leg which required immediate treatment. On August 25, an orthopedic oncologist at Moffitt put a rod in Jim's left humerus (by this time, it was a total break) as well as a rod in his right femur during a 5 day hospitalization. By August 31, we were back at Moffitt with the hematologist talking chemo and radiation. Amazing treatment by these caring, dedicated and compassionate doctors .
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