My sister, Rose Creary Sharp, is now engaged in her own battle with multiple myeloma, a particularly aggressive, cancer of the plasma. People with multiple myeloma develop tumors in more than one location in the bone marrow — and sometimes outside the bone marrow — which is why the disease is called “multiple” myeloma. Though myeloma cells also produce immunoglobulins, they make them in excessive, sometimes harmful, amounts. The excess immunoglobulins may be excreted in the urine. Therefore, most patients with myeloma have immunoglobulin protein, called Bence-Jones protein, in their urine. This can sometimes be damaging to the kidney.
After three months in the hospital enduring painful dialysis and a storm of drug therapy, Rose is now home. She has made significant progress, her kidneys recovered enough to get off dialysis. Chemotherapy is now being administered in preparation for the next step of treatment, stem cell transplantation, also known as bone marrow transplantation, this winter. The stem cell replacement will give her the best chance at halting further damage and give her more time.
Rose will need to hire professional healthcare aides for the time she is in isolation while her immune system recovers. Because of her illness, Rose cannot work and the 24/7 care needed while she recovers will be a huge financial burden not covered entirely through insurance channels. With four school aged children and mounting bills, her plate is not only full, it overflows with worry and stress.
The goal is to raise the funds needed to hire the needed help so that Rose can concentrate on her recovery. Whatever you can contribute will go a long way to making this a reality. In this day and age of spiraling healthcare costs and reduced or limited benefits, it is the empathy and generosity of the individual that has and will always carry the day. Thank you in advance for yours! And feel free to share/repost.
- Brittany Demes
- Caroline LaFleur
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