Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using this as a way to keep family and friends updated. We appreciate your support, words of hope and encouragement and of course your PRAYERS!! Team Dano WE ARE!
Unfortunately, Dad experienced a solid two months of feeling under par. After many tests, blood work (red flags of high protein and low iron resulting in anemia) and a bone marrow biopsy we had an answer. Thanks to an awesome team of doctors here in Pittsburgh, on July 2, 2018 Dad received the diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. We were told he is in stage 2A, meaning that even though 70% of his cells are compromised, thankfully all of his organs are in GREAT shape. However, his bones have taken a hit and are on the brittle side.... but this can, and WILL be reversed with proper treatment and some time. A treatment plan was presented by his Oncologist/Hematologist, Dr. Islam. Dad will be treated with a "cocktail" of three drugs that will work together to fight and kill the cancer cells. The regimen of Velcade+Revlimid+dexamethasone (VRD) is designed to kill and slow the growth of myeloma cells. This particular regimen works on a 21 day cycle and the plan is for Dad to complete 6 cycles (an induction phase) and then have another bone marrow biopsy. He will take the R (a chemo pill) at home continuously for 14 days, go into the office for the V (chemo injections) on days 1, 4, 8 and 11 and he will take the D (steroid med) at home on days 1, 8, and 15. Once a month he will also receive and injection of bone builder/strengthener. With any luck side effects will be minimal but could include fatigue, nausea, tingling in the hands/feet (neuropathy) etc. Of course, knowing Dad, as long as he's having a good day he will likely try his hardest to be on a golf course. The doctors are supportive and suggest that he does what he feels up for, without overdoing it, and ultimately he should just listen to his body.
While we are saddened by this cancer discovery, we are also grateful that it was found so that now we can ATTACK it!! Dad's positive attitude is the first line of defense....and as you know he is definitely a "look on the bright side" kind of guy! He is determined to fight this fight mentally, physically and spiritually. As his fellow team members I say we follow that lead, never look back, and stay positive! Certainly there will be trying days ahead, but I am confident that Dad will have more good days than bad. Our prayer is that after six cycles his numbers will be looking good. Once he gets to certain levels it is possible that he will be switched to more of a maintenance treatment plan. MM is not a cancer you can ever get rid of completely, but can be lived with for years under proper treatment.
Thank you for what has already been an outpouring of love and support for Dano and the rest of our family. I look forward to keeping everyone in the loop as often as possible. Lots of Love, Carly