For those of you who don’t know, I have an incurable bone marrow cancer called multiple myeloma.
I was diagnosed in April of 2007. Pattie–also a cancer survivor–and I started this site the following year. At the time of my diagnosis, the “standard of care” for a multiple myeloma patient in their 50’s was to recieve three or four months of chemotherapy, then undergo a stem cell transplant (SCT).
There are several different types of stem cell transplants (they used to be called bone marrow transplants). Donor transplants are extremely dangerous. But a SCT using a patient’s own stem cells is much safer.
While it isn’t a walk in the park, one of these autologous transplants has the potential to slow a patient’s myeloma down for a number of years.
I was fortunate to be able to avoid needing a SCT for over four years by using a daily, oral chemotherapy called Revlimid. But now my myeloma is back and active again.
When my oncologist informed me that it had started damaging my bones–like it had before we were first able to get my myeloma under control–I knew it was time for me to undergo an auto stem cell transplant.
I find out Monday if my doctors have the green light to proceed next week.
As you can probably guess, I am busy getting prepared for up to five weeks away from home at Mottitt Cancer Center here in Tampa, Florida.
This think will make me weak and very sick. I will lose my hair and my immune system will be destroyed. So I may not be able to post articles daily like Pattie and I have over the past three years. We will do our best.
If you would like to follow my transplant journey, I will continue to post daily (even if it is only a few short lines) on my other daily site: www.MultipleMyelomaBlog.com.
Wish me luck! Feel good and keep smiling! Pat