It was in September of 2008 when I went in for my annual Doctor visit and was asked to get my blood work done a second time. After being accused of taking protein supplements (I was trying to get beyond my lackluster version of “fit” for rugby season and I think my doc was jealous) I was sent to a specialist to figure out why my Total Protein was well above normal. It was at that time that I discovered a new family of acronyms, starting with MGUS (Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance). After a series of tests, including my first Bone Marrow Biopsy, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Shortly thereafter, the Friends & Family Network kicked in and I was meeting with as may doctors as I could find and settled on Dana Farber in Boston. However, doing the four month’s of chemo there would be a bit challenging and I was given the name of a doctor at St Vincent’s here in the city. In October of 2009 my numbers started to increase and I needed to start the chemo program. By November of 2009 I was in a near-complete remission and and in January of 2010 I harvested my cells, put them in a freezer and started my maintenance having, for the time, avoided the need for a bone marrow transplant.
I’ve now been on maintenance chemo for about three years and my numbers have started to rise again. Granted, they’re nowhere near what they were when I was first diagnosed but that’s the beauty of watching these things monthly. In August of this year my numbers were creeping up beyond normal and the doc put me on steroids in addition to the Revlimid. Thanks to Mr Steroid I’m back to my normal flatulent self; however, it’s now time to actually schedule the transplant.
I will post details later but I’m currently scheduled for Jan 28 to go through the process. It will be three weeks in the hospital and then a few weeks after being cautious and avoiding people with the sniffles! Now, in addition to planning for the transplant, heading into the holidays, I need to also coordinate telling the kids (they’re too old to let the hair loss slide this time!) So with that, I will need to coordinate a big party to shave my head! I’m hoping I can coordinate a big “Global Hair Loss” event and will reach out to all corners of the world to encourage support – IF i can get my act together!
That’s all for now!