Joel Muenks

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 since I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  

The past five months have been rough.  November 21, 2016 I had surgery to repair my rotator cuff.  Things go good with surgery but December 15,2016, I start having sever pain in my left side, go to emergency room find out I have kidney stones.  Have 4 days of pain, drink lots of water till they pass.  January 3rd I started having pain in evenings on my right side for several nights but not during day before going to the Dr.  I made many trips to the doctors office for tests looking for the cause of my pain, it did not help I was dehydrated and anemic.  He ordered a CT scan and MRI of pelvis and lower back, an ultrasound of kidneys, to find cause of pain which I assumed was kidney stones again.  Due to the intense pain my family Dr. admitted me to the hospital were they gave me fluids by IV and pain meds.  My MD also noticed my bone mass had changed since a previous scan done in 2015 and referred me to an oncologist.  The Oncologist confirmed there was an abnormality in my blood but wanted to do more tests of the blood, bone and bone marrow.  Three bone biopsy’s later I was diagnosed with Multi Myeloma.

I started treatment on March 1, 2017 I will be taking chemo until May 24.  Before my final treatment I will go to Siteman Hospital in St. Louis to have test done for a stem cell transplant (this used to be bone marrow).  I am fortunate the cancer was caught early and they will be using my own stem cells for a cure.  After my visit the Siteman Dr. will set the date for the harvest of my stem cells, which will take 4- 5 days.  After a couple weeks the transplant date will be set, then another wait and the transplant will happen.  If all goes according to plan the Transplant should happen early July.   Then I will be at Siteman for three to six weeks, depending on how my immune system bounces back to allow me to go home.  Then another 8 to 10 weeks recovery at home.   There is no cure only treatment.

Currently the Chemo treatment is not adversely affecting me.  There are good days and there are bad days.  Fatigue and bone aches are the biggest battle to overcome.

 Thank you for visiting.

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