So what I thought was a back issue that's bothered me for the past few months turned out to be much more serious.
It seems I have Multiple Myeloma
, a type of bone marrow cancer. The good - it's treatable. The bad - it's destroyed a good bit of my hip joints.
============= UPDATE: 10/02/2017 — I started this page while hospitalized, and was in a hurry to get it ‘out there’. For those who care to know more, I’m adding more detail.
I’d had some issues with my right hip since the start of the new year (2017) - pain I’d associated with weather changes, etc. that I’d had before. Didn’t really think much of it as it’d come and go just like always, right? Then I pulled something in my back while trying to help drag some radio equipment upstairs for my ham radio club. Again, this happens from time to time right? Especially as we get a little older and try to do the things we did when we were 25.
Well, after a few months - when things weren’t getting better with my back, I decided to visit a chiropractor. Usually they’re able to work the kinks out and get you back up to speed. It seemed like it was taking longer than usual this time.
Now April, and still in pain, I had a class to attend in Tennessee - so I packed the Ibuprofen and hit the road. Things were getting worse quickly. It was extraordinarily difficult to stand up. It was all I could do to maintain a seated posture during class over the weekend. If not for the help of a few of my classmates, I don’t know what I’d have done. I could barely carry anything, and riding in a vehicle was sheer torture. Something was seriously wrong.
Somehow, I was able to drive back to Wisconsin - no doubt God had a hand in this. Once home, I pretty much crashed & burned. I don’t remember much of the next week or so, except the pain and not wanting to move. Next thing I know, an ambulance is coming to take me away.
Turns out I was in bad shape, kidneys shutting down, dehydrated, etc., so they were worried I might need dialysis. Anyway, I was more or less stabilized here in Manitowoc, lots of tests, and shipped out to the VA in Milwaukee. A lot happened in between and before the first ‘Update’ on this page, and maybe I’ll tell you about that later.
Also, wanted to clarify - Multiple Myeloma is treatable, but there is no cure. The plan is to suppress it with chemo, get a transplant of my own marrow/stem cells, and try not to break or blow anything out in the meantime.
P.S. I'm adjusting the campaign amount occasionally to reflect actual and anticipated near-term costs.