Kelly Smink Kelly's Challenge

First post: Dec 10, 2017 Latest post: Jan 23, 2018
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In September of 2017 I went on my third trip to Kenya with SERV International. It was just as much of  a spiritual and freeing experience as had the previous two trips. Five weeks later I had knee surgery to repair the meniscus and 6 days later I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. It is by the grace of God that we found this cancer.  To test some baseline levels, my internist order a chem panel of my blood. It came back with some unusual results. We ran the test again and the same thing; in fact, just a bit worse. He then referred me to an oncologist hematologist. I was on the border of waiting or pursuing more tests.

 All indications were that I had MGUS. I was not anemic nor did I have the specific protein associated with Myeloma in my urine. MGUS is a plasma cell neoplasm involving an excess of M protein. M protein is produced by plasma cells. With Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS), the plasma cells have not formed a tumor or multiple lesions, no symptoms have occurred, and the other criteria for a myeloma diagnosis are absent. In about 30% of the cases MGUS can turn to Multiple Myeloma. After some discussion with the oncologist, we decided to move forward with a bone survey and a bone marrow biopsy.

On October 31, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma with 80 - 90 % of my bone marrow plasma cells cancerous. We decided that we needed to allow my knee more time to heal and get past Thanksgiving before we started this challenge.  Chemo starts on November 28th.

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