Beating the Monster…Again

It’s been a whole year since I updated my blog. So much has happened since then. Some good, some not so good. I had the amazing opportunity to speak at a myeloma conference at UAMS, with Dr. Van Rhee, Dr. Morgan and Dr. Davies, as well as several other amazing myeloma advocates. That was awesome. I felt like I could use all of the knowledge I’ve gained, all of the heartache and pain, to be a force for good. I hope I reached some of the younger myeloma patients out there. Lord knows we need that support!

Since then, actually since about February of this year, it seems as if I’ve been in constant flux. I never seem to know if I’m coming or going, if my myeloma is behaving or not, if my immune system will or won’t work this week, etc.  Oh, did I forget to mention that I’m no longer in remission?  That was a hard one to swallow.

After several checkups with Dr. Van Rhee where we carefully watched what was happening in my body, we got the news that I never wanted to hear. Not only had the Myeloma in my marrow come back, but my monster, the plasmacytoma in my chest is active and growing. On top of that, my myeloma has become nonsecratory and refractory to most of the chemotherapies I’ve been on thus far. That means that it’s SMART. It has mutated and ‘learned’ the drugs given to me to fight it. It no longer produces the protein found in blood and urine that makes it easier to track. It truly, truly is my monster.

For the past 3 months I’ve been on a chemotherapy regimine of cytoxan and Pomalist, along with all the other magic pills I take. I wish I could say it’s been fun… Cytoxan is a BEAST. Our goal is to reduce my myeloma numbers as much as possible to prepare for a third transplant in January. Yes, a THIRD transplant. Heaven help me!  Lol….

I return to Little Rock the first week of January. Mom and I will live there for about a month, maybe a little longer. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to secure the amazing charity apartment through Open Arms, so finding an apartment or house near to the hospital, and safe for how fragile I will be has been somewhat difficult. God will provide, though. This I have no doubt. He has given me so much through this period of my life, it’s hard for me to stay dissapointed for too long.

I know so many people still pray for me, and for that I am eternally grateful. Please continue to do so!  I’m in a different position than I was in the beginning, in 2013. Because my myeloma has mutated, gotten smarter, things may be a little more difficult. I’m going to try to keep up with this blog, to let people know how I’m doing, how my family at home is doing. Speaking of, this is going to be difficult for my babies. If you see them, give them a smile. It’s hard to have a mom so far away when they know it’s because I’m sick.

One last thing. As we get closer to the holidays, please remember to pray for all of the families affected by cancer. It seems that there are more and more every day. Being a support group leader, I see new faces all the time, but it’s not just those faces. It’s children of friends, husbands of friends, parents of friends. And it’s cancer that we may have never heard of before. Hold your loved ones close, and if you haven’t been affected by these destroyers, praise God, and pray for those of us that have.

‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’  Galatians 6:9