Charty’s Story

Site created on March 18, 2010

Welcome to our Caring Bridge website -- my hope is to keep family and friends posted as we travel this journey battling multiple myeloma.  Still I long to communicate individually with you as much as I can, but I've been warned that my energy may flag during parts of this treatment.  Thank you for visiting us!

This website is being launched March 18,2010, exactly three weeks since the startling diagnosis. What we had assumed to be another annoying age-related pain in the hip would not respond to physical therapy, so an MRI was done.  It turns out I have multiple myeloma -- a cancer of the plasma cells, and one which is very treatable.   A little research shows that the median myeloma patient is over 65, male, African-American, obese and employed in the petroleum industry  .... hmmmm.  Not sure how I missed on all five counts, but in any case the diagnosis is sure, and treatment has begun.  Radiation to my hip was begun last week, chemo started this week, and a long course of treatment stretches well into the summer.  Both Brant and I are feeling optimistic -- and very thankful...not for the disease per se, but for our amazing circle of family and friends who have reached out to us and are pulling and praying for us; for a wonderful medical team that is doing all in its power to beat this illness; for the deep assurance that however things shake out, the end of the story is good; and for each lovely day that is given to us.
Thank you for your warm words of love and support; I don't think I ever took my family and friends for granted, but our current circumstances make the sweetness jump out all the more.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Charty Bassett

Our dear family and friends,

Brant and I wonder and muse about how our far-flung family of friends and relatives are holding up in this strange new world we have been dropped into.  I pray that you are safe and healthy, and that you and your loved ones are weathering without too much trauma the storm, the confusion, the disruption and the uncertainty that are on the loose. 
Out here in Escondido, things are quiet and hardly changed.  Not being able to see (or hug!) friends is tiresome and disheartening, but it won't last forever.  After copious late rains, spring has exploded with extravagance - who ever knew there was such a range of greens, festooning all the valleys and hillsides and forming a backdrop to an endless variety of wildflowers in full bloom.  White pearly everlasting, purple sage, hot yellow Scotch broom, dusty pink flat top buckwheat, red and orange monkey bush - and plants that normally come up to our knees are as tall as we are - glorious beauty on all sides.  Birds are happy, and very vocal.  Mockingbirds have extended their breeding season and indulge in spectacular acrobatics - I assume it is the males that hurl themselves in the air and then drop head over tail in free fall.  It is an impressive display, though I doubt we are the intended audience.  Those mockingbirds also practice their repetitive repertoires through the night, and by day, when not doing aerial displays, they mob the hawks who sail regularly around our house and peck them on the backside. We have had some visits from a great white egret, who lands alongside our pool and stalks back and forth in search of a snack.  We marvel at how he could be at once so breathtakingly elegant and so very goofy.  Today he stepped gawkily alongside the pool, his long neck swaying and dipping lower and lower until ZAP! he struck like lightning and came up with a wildly squirming lizard in his beak.  Poor Mr. Lizard flailed around, but in vain - Ichabod pointed his beak straight up and downed his prey; we could see his slow progress down the hunter's long gullet.  We are hoping that an unwary gopher might land in that same beak.

We are thankful not to have had any medical issues at all over these past few months.  Next week I go in for a COVID-19 test, which is required before my next photopheresis procedure in early June.  

With love from Charty/mom
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