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10/27/2016 Latest post:
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. Thank you for visiting.
Leone James is one tough cookie. In 2009, following the passing of her husband of 52 years, John, and her mother, Betty Hovis, Leone was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.
Multiple Myeloma is a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Myeloma's nasty traits are caused by too much protein in your blood. The protein forms in the bone marrow which result in reduced kidney function, anemia, high levels of calcium in the blood and bone lesions.
In 2009 Leone was fortunate to meet Dr. Adrian Caracioni, a Topeka oncologist better known as Dr. C. One might ask why she didn't travel far and wide looking for a better care center than Topeka, Kansas. There was never a need. After being evaluated at the Oncology Center at KU Med, the KU oncologists assured her she would receive the best care possible from Dr. Caracioni.
So the journey began. At the time Leone was diagnosed, her myeloma was in the "smoldering" stage, which meant the cancer was active but her counts weren't at the level that would require treatment. In her initial conversation with Dr. C, he explained with myeloma a patient will receive treatment and then go into remission until the remissions become shorter and the drugs become ineffective. He explained the average life of a myeloma patient (in her age group) was 2 to 5 years. Fast forward 7 years. . . she has now reached the time when remission can no longer be achieved and the chemo drugs are more dangerous than not doing treatment.
Leone has fought this dreaded disease with the willpower of a giant. Her fight hasn't only been with the cancer during this 7 year period of time. She has also had and recovered from many other heath hurdles. Her resilience has been nothing short of amazing.
At this time, Leone is living with us (Rusty and Janet) and is up and able to do for and take care of herself. Soon, we will engage the support of hospice care. As things change we will use this Caring Bridge site to keep you informed.