Anyone who knows my mom also knows that she is a go-getter and doesn't slow down for nothing- not even cancer- but some days she has a lot of pain and some days she doesn't.
She was referred to a multiple myeloma specialist at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas. For the last few months she has undergone what is called induction therapy consisting of chemotherapy given by injection into her stomach and oral steroids. She tolerated those meds well for the most part- she did have some expected side effects but the medications did their job and put her numbers where they need to be in order to have a Stem Cell Transplant.
The Stem Cell Transplant that will take place within the next few weeks. There is no cure for Multiple Myeloma and this is her best shot at long term remission. We have made several trips to Dallas for testing- her most recent trip she had a full work up done including another bone marrow biopsy and PET scan. Once we get the results back from these tests and her doctor gives us the green light on the transplant she will need to stay local to the hospital for 2 weeks prior to the transplant. During this time they will "prime" her stem cells. I'm not even sure what that involves at the moment. She will have to have a port put in. The stem cell transplant will be done as inpatient due to her risk of infection. The transplant will take her "healthy" stem cells where they will be held for her. Then she will have a very strong dose of chemotherapy that will destroy anything that's left in her bone marrow. After a day of rest they will give her back her cells, with the hopes of her healthy cells taking over. Her doctor says we should expect her to stay inpatient for 18-21 days. Of course that all depends on her blood counts and how she is responding to the treatment.
My parents will need to be in Dallas local to the hospital 2 weeks prior to the transplant and 1 week after she is discharged from the hospital. So about a total of 5-6 weeks. We are very hopeful that the transplant will be a success for her.. The money we raise here will go towards traveling expenses and other medical expenses they may have along the way.
Once this over and behind us she will not be able to return back to work just yet. Most of you know she is a Bossier Parish school bus driver and her immune system won't be ready for cold and flu season and little kids for a while. We aren't sure when or even if she will go back to driving.
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