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6/22/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated with factual information in a one-stop fashion. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most. So what is going on?
DIAGNOSIS: On March 15, 2016, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. This came after a doctors visit with my primary showed my blood to be anemic and required further diagnostic procedures to find the cause of the unexplained anemia. Dr. Estephan then ordered many tests including a bone marrow biopsy which confirmed the diagnosis of myeloma. Multiple Myeloma is a bone marrow cancer that causes plasma cells to replicate too rapidly and the reproducing malignant plasma cells prevent normal development and function of the other important cells in the marrow causing issues in the body. Left unchecked this type of cancer weakens bones and causes immune dysfunction.
PLAN: Starting April 4th, I was placed on outpatient induction chemotherapy. This is a tried and true therapy of a combination of injectable and oral chemotherapy in conjunction with steroids. The purpose of induction therapy is to stop the progression of the cancer and hopefully reduce the amount of cancer in my marrow prior to a bone marrow transplant that will occur in July. Amy and I have chosen KUMC Cancer Treatment Center for the bone marrow transplant as to be closer to home and the children. This is a myeloma specialty center which is hugely advantageous in fighting this type of cancer. We will travel up for an extended stay of a minimum of 45 days to Kansas City in early July for the autologus transplant. That simply means I will be able to use my own stem cells for transplant. I will be given shots that will allow my stem cells to pass into my blood that can be harvested via a machine that is very similar to dialysis. This machine will filter out my stem cells that will be frozen and then replaced. In the meantime, I will receive high dose chemo to kill any remaining cancer in my body before the "clean and healthy" stem cells are returned to me. As I will virtually be without an immune system for a period of a few weeks, I will have to be isolated and wait for my immune system to begin functioning and strengthening before I can be with the public. Once I return home I will remain on a lighter dose of chemo for maintenance to keep the cancer at bay.
PROGNOSIS: Let me tell you I know this is a question that many will ask. I will tell you that myeloma is one of the best known and well researched cancers. This is GOOD news! We will use a myeloma specialist to coordinate my care and perform the transplant. This improves outcomes significantly. I am YOUNG and otherwise HEALTHY, praise God! The doctors tell us this is a significant positive prognosis indicator! This cancer as many of you may know is a cancer usually found in the 60 yr old range. So any mention of prognosis is often based on that average. Ultimately, we have hope in our God, the Great Healer and Creator! Nothing happens without His knowledge. I assure you He has shown himself in amazing and profound ways already to our family through this process. We know He is in control. We can trust He is going and has evidently already gone ahead of us preparing a path for us to walk on this journey! By His stripes we ARE healed! Jer 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
NEEDS: We are doing WELL! The handful of friends and family who have already been brought on this journey with us have covered us in prayer and love and support. These prayers have been answered to allow the chemo to work without negative side effects. I have been able to function normally. You have my word that a time will come when we need more from each of you. We will need help with a variety of things and we assuredly will ask at that time. For now, please love us by praying and believing for healing!
- -For my wife, Amy as she soon will be taking a new role as my caregiver and advocate. She will need to receive, interpret, share and manage my healthcare. She will be managing our family from a far and organizing their care as well as mine. - -for our family that will be stepping up generously to care for our three children and our family dog for a lengthy period of time - -Pray for my doctors and staff that will coordinate my care. Pray for their discernment, discretion, and wisdom. - -Pray that the current chemo regimen will stop the progression of the cancer and reduce it prior to transplant. The more it is reduced prior to transplant the longer the remission post transplant. - -Pray for my family as we all are in uncharted territory navigating a major diagnosis. Pray that we remain united, strong, and unwavering in our love and support of each others needs. - -Pray for my business and my patients. It is my desire to do what I love as much as I can for as long as I can and that is to be serving my patients. Pray for the provisions I am making for them in my absence. Pray for the doctors that will serve them in my absence. Pray that the business and my patients will continue to thrive until I return. - -Pray for my body's ability to tolerate the transplant and that it will quickly reboot afterwards.
Thank you for being on this journey with us. For loving us with your prayers and words of encouragement. Keith & Amy Frederick P.S. Many have asked about tributes and donations to this site. If you do a tribute it goes to Caring bridge. It is NOT a donation to US fyi. Just want you to know as it has caused some confusion .