On October 6th, 2009 I took to the journey of putting an end to Multiple Myeloma in my body. I was filled with hope from what I was hearing out of Little Rock at UAMS leaning heavily on all the great research and data they have compiled through Barlogie's Total Therapy approach for dominating MM. Although my bones were starting to fill with Multiple Myeloma and my M-protein was on the rise, I was very hopeful that a Total Therapy-like approach at UMCCC in combination with my Low Risk gene expression results, that I would have a great chance at getting to Complete Response (CR), suppressing the disease for years by using maintenance therapy. And the hope, which still remains, is that if I can beat it down to ground zero and create a hostile environment that is unwelcoming to MM with the maintenance therapy, maybe the Multiple Myeloma would pack its bags forever and not return.
So one year later, 7 cycles of four drugs, followed by a tandem (back to back) stem cell transplants this summer and now finishing up my 2nd of 4 cycles of consolidation chemo, I feel the hope is being realized, but not fully. I still have a M-Protein of 0.2, which has known to be eliminated as the transplants "take" and the additional chemo post-transplant sends the Multiple Myeloma its knockout punch. So we still have a possible couple more months of watch and wait.
So when will the Domination be achieved? After my 4 cycles of chemo I will start tapering down into a maintenance mode that will allow my bone marrow to begin to make a comeback and return to more normal levels. Although, my bone marrow has been a rock star in terms of regaining strength and producing blood cells just on the low side of the normal range. The recovery from this treatment I am hearing will be years. I was told that I will not be revaccinated until at least another year, any time before that they vaccine may not "take".
Lastly, the Ann Arbor DomiNation was in full effect last Sunday. It was such a joy to see my mother, two of my sisters and Cassie run in their first 5K ever! They finished in the Big House, the same place where I finished just a year prior as we set out to dominate Multiple Myeloma. I am very thankful and proud of my family in all the ways they look to support me. They have been a blessing through what many would call a curse.