I started this blog to share my knitting, but when you get news like this it's impossible to keep quiet about it. There are many "threads" to any life. Knitting is a happy, luxurious cashmere thread for me, but there's a knotty ugly strand which I also have to deal with. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in June of '06.
It's been a really rough road and included a stem cell transplant (SCT) this past May. When you go through an SCT you don't really know what it did for you until you go through testing 100 days later. Those results often show that the patient has to go through a second "tandem" transplant in order to get the disease under control. I was told that since my cancer didn't respond to treatments before the SCT and since my metrics were pretty nasty going in that I should really expect to need a tandem transplant.
So when I went to St. Vincents' Comprehensive Cancer Center in NYC this past Friday I was braced for the worst. I was working really hard to be tough and brave about facing the whole miserable experience again. Some events are scary just because they're a mystery. SCT holds little mystery for me now, but instead inspires well-earned dread.
That's the background for this joyful post. The good news is that my metrics are now wonderful! I've achieved "Complete Remission". The data was so good that I won't even have to go on maintenance chemo! "Hallelujah!" doesn't even begin to cover it!!
The truth about multiple myeloma is that currently there is no cure. Even though I have remission now, I've been assured that it will be back. Maybe sooner, maybe later. All sufferers hope to fight it long enough for a cure to be found… or at least until the next great drug comes along to knock it back. I've added a button to FurrPurls that will take you to the website for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation if you care to make a donation to fight this cancer, or even if you're just looking for more information. My friends and family have asked what organization they should give to and this is the one my doctors suggest. So instead of trying to remember the MMRF contact info, I've created another excuse to send people to my blog! (The truth comes out… I just want lots of visitors!)
My thanks for getting me to this joyous state go to the caring folks at St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center and St. Vincent's Hospital, especially Dr. Jagannath, Dr. Mazumder, the St. Vincent's transplant nurses, and most especially to Dr. Vesole who was in charge of my care during the SCT. I'm so fortunate to live close enough to NYC to access their remarkable expertise. And thanks also go out to all of the friends, family, even acquaintances who worried and prayed for me. And of course "Thanks be to God!"
Anyways, thank you also for sharing my happy, but non-knitting news. Tune in next week, (or much sooner), when we return to our regularly scheduled knitting programming…