In February 2012, I was diagnosed with two cancers of the blood, Stage 4 Lymphoma and Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma. This blog is an attempt to share my journey, learnings and insights with you through this process. I anticipate that this will be a long and arduous year. I have started treatment with high-dose steroids, Dextamethasone, which is creating interesting havoc in my body but is also helping to fight off the cancer.
Chemotherapy for the Lymphoma begins on March 12th for 18 weeks. The initial prognosis is that I have an excellent chance to beat the Lymphoma. Yeah!
Then the doctors will deal with the Myeloma and give me a different type of chemotherapy for another 2 months. At the moment, there is no cure for the Myeloma; however, the doctors feel they they can get this into remission.
Then the really cool stuff! For the Myeloma, the plan is to do what is known as an Autologous stem cell transplantation. Stem cells from my own bone marrow and in my blood will be extracted, frozen, stored and, after a high-dose chemotherapy treatment (where all good and bad cells in my bone marrow will be destroyed), will be infused back into me. In time, the transplanted cells will begin to produce new cancer-free blood cells. This is a relatively new and revolutionary procedure and I can’t wait to be at the frontier of medical science!
God willing, I should be back – better than ever – in December 2012. My goal this year is to embrace my vulnerability and to share my story with you with authenticity – the good and the bad, the hopes and fears, the knowns and the uncertainties, and especially the blessings.
Like the Mighty Oak Tree whose leaves and branches are constantly tested by the wind, these cancers will test my strength beyond measure. With your continued prayers and support and with God’s Grace, I know I will endure this chapter in my journey and successfully complete it — with humility and in gratitude.