I will not do a play by play account of what is going on. As soon as I have more information, I will do a detailed posting here as this is where my family, including my kids, get their information.
I will just say that things are going well. Denise and I are mentally exhausted from three days of this (actually two days as today is a rest day). One of the country’s top thought leaders in Multiple Myeloma is my doctor. I am going through a long process of testing before the actual stem cell transplant process begins, in about 7-10 days. Next week I will many tests, too many to mention here. So, I’m still relatively healthy and feeling pretty good. The fact that I’ve been off chemo for two weeks makes me feel better physically than I have since I’ve been sick. However, my cancer is starting to rebound quickly. So, we must do a transplant soon. If the testing says that I’m not eligible, then I need to get back on chemo ASAP.
In summary, a stem cell transplant is still my greatest hope of surviving more than 3 years. My doctor uses the term “cure” for about 20% of the stem cell transplant patients because after 15 years, they have no evidence of the disease and are on no treatment. But the official statement is the Multiple Myeloma is incurable. Cure is a dream. However, a stem cell transplant comes at a great cost, and I don’t just mean just financially. It will be a brutal process. For the typical patient, the mortality rate is about 2%. However, because I have renal failure, the course will be more difficult and the mortality rate for me is more like 5%. I, also, will have to stay in the hospital at the University of Washington for a total of about 4 weeks, whereas the typical patient would stay in for just a few critical days. Come on kidneys, damn you, get to work!
So, look for a detailed update later next week.