After suffering from an autoimmune disease known as PMR for the past year and a half, recently Julie had been suffering from multiple compression fractures in her spine and a herniated disk. Alarmed that this might not be a side effect of her medications for PMR, Julie asked her physician to run some additional tests. The results of these tests were concerning, and she was referred to a specialist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance who diagnosed multiple myeloma.
What comes next?
The treatment for Multiple Myeloma is ongoing and there is no cure. Next week Julie will begin the first part of her treatment protocol. This treatment consists of a "cocktail" of medication : bortezomib, dexamethasone, and lenalidomide. She will undergo 3 to 6 rounds of this therapy, each round lasting 4 weeks. One challenge of this first stage of treatment is that each week she will need to make a trip to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for an injection of one of these medications which can only be administered at an infusion clinic with her physician's oversight.
Throughout treatment cycles her doctor will monitor her body's response. The hope is to see a quick response to treatment with her plasma returning to closer to normal counts, then evalutating next steps.
(Julie with her kids, Andrea a Shane)
HOW CAN WE HELP?
If you know Julie, you know she is the first to step up and help when people need it. She is caring, kind, and giving. She loves her family and her community. She is a special ed teacher and is driven to help kids who struggle with conventional learning techniques. Now Julie needs our help. As a single mom and sole wage earner for her family you can imagine how frightening it is to think about the time she will miss at work and lost wages. To make things more complicated, on top of facing treatment for her cancer, Julie also continues to struggle with the debiliting compression fractions in her spine and other effects of PMR. The extra expenses, not just for co-pays and medical expenses which will be many, but also for gas, lodging and meals is overwhelming.
Stay tuned as we will be putting together additional ways to help Julie, Andrea and Shane including meals, running errands, and helping around her house and yard.
Every contribution helps. Thank you for giving!
What is Mutliple Myeloma:
from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation:
"Multiple myeloma is a hematological (blood) cancer that develops in the plasma cells found in the soft, spongy tissue at the center of your bones, called bone marrow. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell responsible for producing antibodies (immunoglobulins) which are critical for maintaining the body’s immune system. Through a complex, multi-step process, healthy plasma cells transform into malignant myeloma cells."
To learn more about Multiple Myeloma:
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