Welcome to John's 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. I will be updating this site and posting the link to FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM/Twitter once a week on Sunday unless important updates are necessary.
Part 1 - In 2015 Dad was diagnosed with a Plasmacytoma. This refers to a tumor consisting of abnormal plasma cells that grows within the soft tissue or bony skeleton. It can be present as a discreet solitary mass of abnormal plasma cells, in which case it is termed a “solitary” plasmacytoma or it can be present as part of myeloma. In this case it had not developed into Myeloma yet. He received radiation for that and was put on a maintenance plan to catch the development of Myeloma as early as possible.
Part 2 - In late December of 2017 it was determined that Dad would need to start treatment for Multiple Myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells. In multiple myeloma, malignant plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow (the soft, spongy tissue at the center of your bones), crowding out the normal plasma cells that help fight infection. There was a set back in mid January 2018 from the treatment that effected Dad's kidney function. He was in the hospital for about 10 days. One of the things that has also happened is a Vestibular issue that would cause Dad to get really dizzy and fall. That plus the normal Chemo side effects and mid-Summer bout of Pneumonia have weakened my Dad physically. The latest even started late August. One of the med's my Dad was prescribed for Anxiety/Depression related to having Cancer caused an unsafe drop in his sodium levels. The electrolyte imbalance caused all kinds of fun problems with Dad's cognitive functioning. He was confused about time and people. It was really hard. But the doctors did a good job of getting his electrolytes back to normal. The problem was that Dad was already week and frail before going to the hospital and the time in bed with no activity made it so Dad needed to go to a Nursing Home to rehab. There were some ups and downs but not going back to the nursing home was a good motivator for Dad. The good news is eventually he started to get better and eventually left the nursing home. Then in 2019 due a mold issue Mom and Dad ended up living in a hotel for 8 weeks or so. That was when we realized that the mold was part of the problem because Dad started rocking it.
Part 3 - fast forward to 2020. UGH what a year. This pandemic is crazy. Sometime over the summer the doctors noticed that Dad's cancer markers were increasing in one area and decided it was time to change the chemo. Well this was not great news but it does happen that the body gets used to the Chemo and you need to switch. But Switching means back to weekly treatments instead of monthly and all sorts of fun side effects. The chemo is so debilitating. My mom and I started getting concerned that Dad was mentally deteriorating and after discussing it with the doctors, Dad went for scans and a lesion on Dad's Thoracic vertebra. It explained why the numbers were climbing and the deterioration. There were some options. The could do Radiation, Chemo and then surgery, or the reverse. There were also two kinds of surgery. A drastic one which would likely involve back fusion type stuff. Or they could do a palliative surgery (which would remove the pain and pressure but not give clean margins) and then hit the rest of the lesion with radiation and chemo. All of the Doctors and My dad decided that this would be the best option for him. The Surgery is scheduled for 10/14 at 8:00AM. Yesterday (10/6) we took Dad to the hospital for pre surgery labs. Yesterday evening the hospital called and told Dad to go to the hospital because his blood sugar was really high. I think my mom said near 700. SO they went to the ER and by the time they got their it was down to 400. They also found that an enzyme that is marker for heart episodes was elevated so they decided to admit him. This morning his blood sugar was 147. He's had a bunch of EKG's but nothing showed up. It is likely stress but they will do a stress test tomorrow. All of his cancer doc's believe that as long as he passes the stress test and remains on the mend from this, the surgery will go ahead as planned.
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