SueAnn's Journey with Multiple Myeloma- the beginning (https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sueanniesfriends/journal/view/id/58c82c8f8b5cd3860d0dcec9
)Journal entry by Wendy Higgins — 3/14/2017
It began with a blessing in disguise. Always up for an adventure, SueAnn said yes to driving me down to Tijuana to get some dental work done January 2, 2017. While there, why not get her teeth cleaned and pull that tooth they recommended should come out?
All went well and we loved the clinic and the overall experience there. A taste of Mexico! And then, one day later, the extracted tooth site started bleeding and it didn't stop for a week. Emergency room visits, a 5 night stay in the hospital, 4 units of blood and more of plasma and fluids, and they couldn't figure out why her body couldn't form the proper clot in that extraction site. A procedure inserting a man-made clot finally helped the body to properly clot and the gum and bone to heal. They finally sent her home, 10 lbs lighter and "drained", to consult with a hematologist.
Two weeks later, after extensive blood work and testing by a wonder of a hematologist/oncologist, SueAnn was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. That didn't explain the bleeding, but the testing revealed the cancer! A gift in disguise!! (The hematologist has theorized that the Vit C infusion requested at the Dental clinic may have been too high a dose and caused the bleeding.)
SueAnn dove in to the MM treatment with great courage and optimism. We cancelled our trip to VA for our mom's funeral, and she began treatment for stage 3 Multiple Myeloma a few days later.
Multiple Myeloma is a cancer that affects the blood plasma cells. If you want some of the details on SueAnn's diagnosis, read on. If you don't need the specifics, skip this part! Very simply, plasma is the liquid part of the blood that moves white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets around the body. Thus it is, by nature, throughout the body. Plasma cells are part of the immune system, and they make antibodies to fight infections. All these cells are made by bone marrow.
SueAnn has multiple fractures where the myeloma cells have eaten away at her bones, causing soft spots or holes. There are also tumors on the bones where the myeloma cells have built up. MM also causes anemia because the myeloma cells crowd out the red blood cells that move oxygen around, thus producing extreme fatigue and shortness of breath. Her immune system is weakened as well. And, for the first time in her life, she doesn't have much of an appetite.
Thus SueAnn's days are planned around her energy and pain levels. The mornings are the best time for her to be active and sometimes she walks, gardens, or even gives a massage. When the afternoon arrives she can mostly be found resting unless her rigorous new Job of Self Care (and doctors appointments) demands her to be out and about. When the energy (or spirits) lag, there is little negotiating. She must rest.
It is an extremely challenging time for her. Her normally radiant body and spirits are being put to the test as she moves through this experience. The treatment she has opted for includes three main therapies that work to kill myeloma cell and prevent new cancer cells from forming, as well as ease the symptoms and possible side effects. Along with these drugs, she supplements with blood infusions to help keep the blood counts up, and hydrating and flushing calcium build up out of the blood. She is also supporting herself with some powerful complementary natural medicines, a clean, healthy diet, "Hits of Bliss" from time in Nature and all the love coming in from her friends and family.
We both will be keeping up her journal, so stay posted! And she would LOVE to hear back from you on this site as well.
With huge gratitude and love to all who are keeping SueAnn near to their hearts and in their prayers, and those who are helping out with the day to day needs that are showing up.