Monday, March 5, 2007

Myeloma ... Impressions ... and Hope

Seeing clearly from here... is like trying to figure out where you are in a field of tall corn. (I grew up in Iowa.)

University of Minnesota... Bank on a Cure... is collecting massive numbers of genetic samples... hoping to understand the many dynamics of myeloma... and develop ways to predict which treatment will work best for each person/kind of myeloma.

My Person has lambda light chain disease, but the protein cells that were the first to spill into his urine last week were kappa light chain. Who knows??? No amyloidosis, yea.

He will have a CT scan to help the doctor understand the lucent lesions that showed up in the top of his skull in the full body bone scan. He will have an MRI of the hip to try to figure out what might be causing slight neuropathy in his right leg.
And yes, a bone marrow biopsy...... as serious as it sounds: a needle, large enough to retrieve cells, inserted in a hip bone.
When he had the first one, he was lying on is side, facing me, and the doctor was on the other side of the table.
The look on my Honey’s face, when the needle was inserted, was a look that was burned into my memory.
(In that moment, more pain than I saw at the time of the kidney stone.)

One source of hope is the amount of research that is going on... more new strong drugs...( but of course... with various side effects in some people)...and doctors who treat only myeloma, at Mayo Clinic, among others.

There is no predicting who will get cancer... any cancer. Some healthy people get it... most do not. Always the question: Why?

When he was first diagnosed, in the summer of 2003, he had no symptoms.... only a telling blood test. I thought that would give him more lead time before his cancer would become critical. That could be true, but since then I have come to understand that myeloma doesn’t follow rules.

The myeloma is always there.. Folks in support groups tell their stories: This drug or that... or a stem cell transplant... or a combination of drugs will knock down the proteins in the blood ... for a while. Never give up; for now, time seems to be on our side. Once in a while we hear that a participant has died. A few people have lived for many years with myeloma.

One of my favorite verses, subject of a paper back when I was writing them for classes:
“....and hope does not disappoint us, because.... love is poured into our hearts.”

Many medical tests this week.. And we are hopeful.
Set the clocks ahead on Saturday night.
Keeping on running.... 2 hours today!
Peace be with you.

It is the best day, this day that we have, the best day of the year.

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