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May 2, 2018 Latest post:
Sep 4, 2018
After years of serving God in the mission field, Greg and I left Nicaragua to take care of my mother in Lincoln, Arkansas who was suffering from Parkinson's disease. She passed away in May 2016 and we then considered going back to doing mission work, but I wasn't feeling 100%. Greg traveled some on his own and we settled into fixing up an old rundown house we purchased in Gentry, AR. In August of 2017 I started experiencing back aches and attributed it to the hard labor being done on the house. By September it was bad enough we went to the doctor and were told it was just normal pain, take an aspirin. I even tried some massages and chiropractor visits. On Jan 2, 2018 the pain became excruciating and we went to the ER in Siloam Springs. They said it was pleurisy and gave me medicine for that. Nothing improved but rather worsened so we went back to the clinic on Feb 18, 2018. After a second round of x-rays they found a cracked vertebrae in my back. We were referred to an orthopedist an he ordered an MRI to better see the damage. On March 2, 2018 he called us to his office and told me I had cancer. He said cancer originates in soft organs and ordered several tests to determine where it was originating from. After several trips to clinics for tests and scans, I began to get very weak and wobbly and couldn't hardly feel my legs. My left arm was also becoming useless. Greg and I wondered if this was the end and started planning for it. We felt a peace knowing that God was hearing our prayers, but we didn't know quite what to do beyond that. On May 9, 2018, Jason, the director at Camp Siloam where Greg was working part time, came by to drop off some papers on preparing a will and brought his wife Julie along. Julie is a gynecologist and very well may have saved my life by insisting I go to the ER at the hospital. She made sure an oncologist checked me and after another MRI this doctor told me I needed an immediate surgery on my back to remove a tumor that had broken the vertebrae and was crushing the spinal cord. Without the surgery he said I would be paralyzed. He also for the first time put a name to my cancer, multiple myeloma and recommended that we try to get into the Myeloma Institute in Little Rock, AR. We weren't too keen on this suggestion as Little Rock is 4 hours away, but we didn't know much about what we were dealing with at this point. The next morning I was wheeled into surgery at Washington Regional in Fayetteville for major back surgery. After some recovery time they immediately moved me across the street to Healthsouth rehab to learn how to walk again and become a little less dependent on others for everything. After a couple of weeks they decided I was recovered enough to start treatment on the cancer. On April 10, chemo was started at Highland Oncology in Rogers. Then on April 16, I was sent to the Myeloma Institute in Little Rock. This is where my story for living with Multiple Myeloma truly begins.