Joel Berkowitz A Myeloma Warrior

First post: Jun 2, 2019 Latest post: Feb 22, 2020
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In late January 2019, Joel went into the hospital for a bleeding ulcer. That was resolved, but he had very low blood platelets and they could not figure out why. It was suggested he see a hematologist, which he did.

Over the weeks, several more blood and urine tests were performed. Still nothing definitive. So a bone marrow biopsy was ordered.

The results of that test indicated that he has Non-Secretory Multiple Myeloma, which is a rare, incurable, but treatable form of bone marrow cancer.

Because Joel’s platelets were so low, we had to make many decisions quite quickly and decided to seek treatment through the Winship Cancer Center at Emory University, in Atlanta, where they do a tremendous amount of Myeloma Cancer Research.

After the initial chemotherapy treatments, it is our hope that Joel would be a candidate for a stem cell transplant. That could be anywhere from 2 to 4 months down the road. Chemo treatments are on a 21 day cycle... 14 days treatment, followed by 7 days rest. That is when we return home to Asheville. Joel started his chemo treatment on April 29.

As cancer is known to do, it hit us without warning, feeling like a hard punch to the gut and a push off a mountain. We had little time to digest the whole thing, before having to jump into treatment.

However; we are slowly adjusting to the situation . . . not going to pretend it is easy. We still know little about this very complicated blood disorder and there are many questions yet to be answered. We are told Myeloma is not a sprint, but a marathon, which I guess means we are in endurance training.

I ask that you send healing prayers. If praying is not your thing, healing thoughts and energy would be equally as welcomed.

I have been asked “what can I do?”
Staying in touch and letting Joel know you care, is a great gift that goes a long way in the healing process. This forum will allow you to do that easily.

We love you all!
Deborah and Joel

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