I have been thinking about John from Spokane, Washington a lot these days. He’s been through so much! He emails me most every week with updates. If you recall, the plasmacytoma in his skull returned, requiring radiation therapy and delaying his march toward a tandem auto/allo stem cell transplant in Seattle.
Here is a copy of his latest email from Sunday:
Finally we have some answers from Friday’s appointment. Tomorrow I have a follow up MRI to assess how the radiation has done on the plasmacytoma, hopefully it’s got the majority of it this time. Seattle (Dr Holmberg) told my local oncologist (Dr Newman) that she wants me in a remission or there is no point in proceeding to transplant. I’m scheduled to be admitted on the 26th for round 1 of VDR-PACE with a 3-4 week break till round 2. I need to clarify what Dr Holmberg means by a remission. Is a total remission the standard or will a good partial be sufficient?
Shawna was happy that we’ll get to stay here in Spokane for the VDR-PACE treatments. I really wouldn’t have a problem going to Seattle for the treatments. I like dealing with a team that really knows their business, but not having to be away from home for the holiday season makes things easier on the girls. You can bet though that I will have a copy of the University of Washington protocols we’ll be using and making sure they follow it to the letter!
We’ll try to keep you updated as things progress. Hope you have a great thanksgiving.
John has passed-along an album full of family pictures. They paint a picture of a brave father, trying not to worry his kids. He has also sent a number of treatment related photos. Some of them are pretty graphic. Although John has been completely unfiltered and open with what he sends me, I’m not sure we know him well enough for me to share those.
But I would like to share these:
SPOKANE IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE! JOHN BETWEEN APPOINTMENTS…
THE FAMILY SPENDS A LOT OF TIME ON THE WATER. HERE’S A PICTURE OF JOHN AND ONE OF HIS LOVELY DAUGHTERS ON THEIR BOAT
AND A PICTURE OF JOHN AND HIS SISTER
AND MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF JOHN
John mentions his upcoming “VDR-PACE” treatment above. VDR is RVD or VRD. You can mix the letters up anyway that you want. It is still the most effective anti-myeloma therapy available today.
I will describe the “PACE” part of the treatment tomorrow. For now, let’s all hope that John’s plasmacytoma has shriveled-up and gone where ever vanquished tumors go!
Before I sign-off, I wanted to share this picture of another Patient Snapshot star, Roz, taken by Dianne at our last Nature Coast Multiple Myeloma Support Group meeting.
As you recall, I featured Roz in a pair of posts recently:
I ran into Roz a few weeks back while we were both out walking in “The Heather,” a rural subdivision north of Tampa where we live. She continues to be doing great, loving life and staying active.
You go, girl!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat