I know this is a departure from my regular posts, but I just have to share some really good news I received this week!
In 2008, my father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – cancer of the plasma cells (found in bone marrow). My father was a shell of his former self. He had lost close to 50 pounds (which he really couldn’t afford to lose), and had shrunk nearly 3 inches in height. Several of his vertebrae had fractures due to bone erosion. He was in constant pain and was too weak to do much of anything.
Four months after he was diagnosed, Dad was told he was in remission. The doctors were amazed – they had never seen someone with such a quick turnaround (my dad credits G*d, and the prayers of friends and family). It took a considerable amount of time, but my dad gained much of his strength back.
Two weeks ago, my parents visited the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. After a number of tests and consultations with the Mayo hemo/oncology group, my father was informed that he was a most unusual multiple myeloma patient. All tests were negative for the myeloma proteins – or at least so small that it was undetectable at this time. The oncology group agreed that they had never seen a patient respond so well to so little treatment and for this length of time. There is nothing they can do about his back pain, except to manage it with pain meds. After the great news about the myeloma, my dad was willing to accept the news about his back.
My parents are already planning to get back into their volunteer work. As a licensed contractor, my dad leads teams of volunteers building churches, homes, offices, and on one occasion, an orphanage. He and my step-mother have worked tirelessly on these projects around the world in places such as Japan, Mexico, Bolivia, and Papua New Guinea. They have also done projects closer to home; building churches in small fishing villages in southeast Alaska (where I grew up), bible camps in different states, and they have spent considerable amounts of time rebuilding homes of those devastated by Hurricane Katrina. My parents had been volunteering in this way since the early ’90s, but they had to curtail their efforts when Dad got sick. After hearing that no further treatment or tests are being recommended, they decided to go ahead and plan a project for a church in Alaska. I know they are looking forward to it!
I had received an email before they even left Rochester, but the news didn’t sink in right away. I spoke with my father this afternoon, and the news has just now become *real* for me. So, now I am in a celebratory mood!!! Thanks for listening! :)
Hurrah for good news from the medical profession!!