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2/3/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Jim had a bad cold around New Years Eve. One day he coughed and sneezed at the same time and felt a horrible pain in his side rib cage. Urgent care sent him home saying he may have pulled a muscle. His primary care doctor decided to follow up with a CT scan which showed some irregularity in the small intestine. This got us worried. A colonoscopy showed that the colon and small intestine were perfect! We celebrated! Then the rib pain increased dramatically. Jim couldn't sleep and was in a lot of pain. The second visit to St. Luke's ER we finally started to get some answers. An x-ray showed ribs 5-8 were cracked. This led to lots more testing and a whole lot of worry.
Skip ahead to Thursday, February 2. Jim has multiple myeloma. This is a cancer of the plasma cells in the blood. This weakens his bones which is why the ribs cracked from just a sneeze and cough. He has a large tumor between C6 and C7 on the spine. It is dangerously close to the spinal cord which could cause paralysis if it were to grow. This also makes it extremely dangerous to just operate and remove the tumor. The neurosurgeon is studying the many, many X-rays, CT scans, MRI's and blood tests to make a decision. As of today, that decision has not been made. The options we have heard are: surgery to try to remove the tumor; surgery to put 'hardware' in the spine because it has deteriorated so much to prevent the tumor from causing paralysis; or a back brace. Not great options but we will take it over paralysis any day! He got his first dose of steroids today to get him ready for radiation treatments. Besides the spinal tumor, he has tumors on the ribs and hips. Radiation treatment will not begin until he is strong enough to go home and will be administered every weekday for 13 days at St. Luke's hospital. We have a wonderful team of doctors who seem to be very experienced. We will continue to update any changes as the doctors are actively "working his case." Spread the word to all family and friends about this site to continue to read updates and post anything you'd like us to share with Jim. He is in good spirits most of the time and is SO grateful for all the love, prayers and support that has poured in since this all began.