WELCOME! to our CaringBridge site, where you’ll find recent-ish updates & can join us praying for more good years for Jim & everybody who loves to have him near!
He’s well into his 2nd season of treatments for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia (WM) as I update this (May, 2021). More on this cancer type, for the curious, is below...
We TRULY appreciate your support-PRAYERS, words of hope, love, & encouragement! THANK YOU for visiting us here!
Technical stuff, for inquiring minds & detailed pray-ers!
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia is a rare, slow-growing lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (among the "non-Hodgkins" lymphomas). The version Jim has causes the cloning of an incorrect copy (doesn’t work) of a large white blood 'B' cell type that eventually thickened His blood(“viscosity syndrome”), displaced a lot of the other kinds of blood cells we humans have & need (complex downsides stem from the lack of these), & overbuilt the sort of 'factories' that produce this cancer clone, in a way that didn't leave enough bone marrow ‘real estate’ for the production of a healthy mix of the whole array of blood components.
I believe, that despite setbacks there’s good reason to expect a good outcome from this spring’s treatment regimens, but things also have got scary a few times - so, WE ASK FOR PRAYER.
We ask, believing God is good! Hears! Listens! Is moved at the sound of our cries! We shall taste & see God’s goodness once again!
WM is not considered curable, but it does move slower than most cancers- and Jim enjoyed almost 5 years of pretty good health after the first treatment set. We very nearly forgot, sometimes that he even had this disease during some of that time .... except for the memory of his getting shingles during his first rituxiban treatments, but then he had Nurse Sonja at his side - RN & the best hugger ever - the lack of whom is one more important reason we reach out for prayer support this time.
In any case, we're so very grateful for friends who care, and a way to reach out for prayer for my precious Papa. Thanks.
Ahem. About stage.
Some ask what stage of cancer Dad (Jim) has - it's a normal cancer question, but it doesn't have a normal answer with WM, nor with probably a lot of the lymphomas. The four stages of cancer are a way of talking about how much a cancer has spread in the body. But for the kinds of cancer that primarily reside in patients' blood & marrow ( sometimes lymph nodes, since they're called 'lymphomas'), the percentage of the body engaged in the cancer is likely to qualify most patients for stage III or IV at the time their cancers are diagnosed.
Rather than calling Jim's cancer stage IV (which sounds not super hopeful, if you've known others with, say, liver, or brain cancer [...that then spread] who got that label put on them), I mostly duck the question.
I understand that, because of reasons I've just named & maybe others, there IS a point system for WM prognosis. I don't really understand it & haven't tried too hard, but you can take a crack! https://www.cancer.org/cancer/waldenstrom-macroglobulinemia/detection-diagnosis-staging/staging.html