Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support by passing on words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most. The Donation Requests you'll see are a Caring Bridge feature and are not initiated by us. Caring Bridge is a free service for friends and family to provide the only kind of support Jeff needs right now --love and encouragement!
As many of you know, Mills has been experiencing quite a bit of back pain recently. After a doctor's appointment this past Monday, followed by a CT-scan and MRI, they scheduled Jeff for surgery this past Wednesday to fuse some of his vertebrae and determine why his spine was weakening. In true Miller fashion, this did not stop him from entertaining the medical staff at Albany Medical Center. He favors the pretty nurses and has been enjoying the chocolate ice cream :)
During the procedure it was confirmed that Jeff has Multiple Myeloma; a blood cancer that develops from malignant plasma cells. Normal plasma cells are located in the bone marrow and are a major part of the immunity system. When they develop into malignant plasma cells, tumors form and essentially weaken the bones where they reside, often causing fractures, which is what occurred with Jeff's spine.
He will have to follow a three step phase for recovery:
- Induction: weekly visits to the hospital for medication and corticosteroid therapy. It will likely last a few months depending on the body's response. - Stem Cell Transplant - Maintenance--will be on medication to control the cancer cells. it's important to know that this is a type of cancer that is manageable; one that a person can live with for many long years. Keeping that in mind--Jeff is not one to sit and idly watch life go by; he'll be meeting this challenge head on. He is and has always has been a fighter. It will be a long journey, but with your help it can be one filled with laughter and support.
Jeff and his family will use this site as a way to keep us all updated on how he is doing. It would be a good idea to refer to it before paying a visit, to be sure that he's not going through a day of testing, or out for a doctor's visit or possibly not feeling up to having company. It's important to keep in mind that this cancer is also tough on Jeff's immune system--he can't afford to catch an infection of any kind. So if you're sick, even with a cold, visiting by phone would be best until you're feeling better.
Our job is to use this Caring Bridge as a way to keep Jeff laughing :) Post your messages, pictures and words of encouragement--Jeff will be checking regularly!
Many have been asking what they can do. Until the next steps are determined by his doctors and family, filling this Caring Bridge with positive vibes, funny stories and embarrassing photos from childhood will be the best thing for Mills.