No, this is not another blog where someone describes their journey though cancer and possible death, or at least it is not meant to be. Many people have written beautiful stories about their journey. No, this is simply an information page for friends and family who want to keep up to date with what’s going on without me loading up Facebook with some much stuff.
I have been feeling strangely ill for about 3-4 weeks. Those were mainly twitches and nausea. No signs of kidney problems.
Then, I became very sick on Friday (too complicated to explain here) and went into the ER. I was found to be in renal failure and near death (potassium of around 7). They had to work emergently to get the potassium under control in the ER and transferred to a bigger hospital with an nephrologist group (Peace Health, Bellingham, WA). I have been quite sick since then.
Efforts to reverse the renal failure were not what we had hoped as I’m still quite sick and fragile. Yesterday we did a renal biopsy to find the cause. We got the results back tonight and it was the worst possible cause for renal failure, Multiple Myeloma. I had a pre-Multiple Myeloma condition called MGUS (diagnosed in 1999) but it was rare for it to convert to full Multiple Myeloma, and if it did, it would normally started out as a bone fracture, then you would treat it. However, this is a light chain Multiple Myleoma, so the protein seeps out of the bone marrow and clogs up the kidneys. It can present as renal failure, and that’s what has happened.
Is there a cure? No, not at this point. But there are aggressive treatments that can control it for a while, with hopeful better treatments coming in the future.
HOW TO PRAY FOR US
Of course we need your emotional support.. We have all been honest about the possibility that I may not walk out of the hospital alive. I am still very sick and we are doing an emergent surgery in the morning to put a double lumen tube into my heart for dialysis. It will allow a dialysis machine tomorrow to suck out my blood, start cleaning so of the toxins out, and trying to saving my immediate life.
After a couple of hours or dialysis, I will go back to the OR to have a bone marrow test so that they can score the severity of the Multiple Myleoma. I will then be starting chemotherapy tomorrow, three harsh drugs.
- We need to pray that the dialysis (three days this week) will clean out my blood and help me feel better and get me out of immediate risk of death.
- We want prayer that if we can clean up the kidneys, the damage is not so severe that they would never recover. If it is, it will make treatment of Multiple Myleoma more difficult.
- Please pray that the Multiple Myleoma responds to treatment and can go in to submission, giving me months if not a few more years to live.
- That the Multiple Myleoma will not cause a bad fracture (neck bone) that could cause me to become a paraplegic, and in this case, that would be the immediate end.
We, Denise, the kids and I, have talked about all possibilities and we do not hold out on false hopes. There is some hope, and on that we do not give up. Of course I, and my family, pray for a cure. There may be a cure coming (see Cart T Cell Therapy) but I have to survive through these first few stages first.
But we also know that these things just happen and there is no one to blame, certainly not God or doctors or lifestyle (I was very healthy). It is just the way life is in this fallen earth.
I will do updates here on the news part of what’s going on, but I will try to to write sob stories about what we are going through. Thanks for your interest and prayers.
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