Our mom, Nora Lira (AKA “mama,” to her grandchildren) unfortunately suffered a fall before Christmas and a second one before New Year’s Day. She developed increased back and abdominal pain and was admitted to the hospital in early January. A CT scan confirmed a compression fracture in her lower back. Three days later, she felt a pop in her spine resulting in even more excruciating back pain. A repeat CT showed 2 additional fractures in her back. Based on this CT result, her primary care doctor (Dr. Noonan) ordered a blood test and lab work to rule out possible Myeloma due to these spontaneous pathological fractures. The results came back on February 12th, a few days before mom and dad were supposed to leave for an extended vacation to see family in Florida. The results were devastating to us all with the news that it was positive for Myeloma. Dr. Noonan recommended they shorten their trip in order to meet with an Oncologist, Dr. Shah. For those who may not be familiar, Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells; It can damage the bones, immune system, kidneys, and red blood cell count.
The oncology appointment on February 28, confirmed our worst fear that mom was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. The PET scan showed multiple areas of involvement. Her sternum, scapula, lumbar spine and both distal femurs are affected by this horrible and incurable disease. Needless to say, mom has been in constant pain… gaining pain control to remain comfortable has been her biggest challenge. In addition to scheduled pain meds, she started radiation therapy this past week to help with pain relief and to hopefully stop and destroy cancer cells from developing.
As a family, we will use the Caringbridge site to keep everyone updated on our dear mom’s condition. Mom is undoubtedly the strongest woman in our lives, and we’re all cheering her on as she continues this journey—we hope you will, too. Due to the situation our world is currently in with the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to limit visitors as mom is immunosuppressed and in the high risk category. Stay healthy and be good to one another. Thank you all in advance for the prayers and support! We know our mom certainly feels it!