Pat and Pattie are both cancer survivors. Pat was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in April, 2007 at the age of fifty-one. This picture was taken less than a year before Pat and Pattie got the bad news.
There is currently no cure for this cancer of the plasma cells that are found in bone marrow. Pat experienced what is called a Complete Response (CR), or temporary remission after a year of intense steroid, radiation and oral chemotherapy. He remained in CR for almost three years.
Unfortunately, Pat’s multiple myeloma slowly crept back. He underwent a stem cell transplant in the summer of 2011 at Moffitt Cancer Center, on the University of South Florida Campus in Tampa. Pat relapsed shortly after his transplant.
Disappointing, but there was a silver lining. His transplant seemed to re-sensitize his myeloma. Pat calls it “hitting the reset button.” Translation: chemotherapy drugs that had stopped working before his transplant started working again.
Pat was able to achieve a second remission, but it lasted a short ten weeks. Despite this setback, a combination of Velcade and dexamethasone–working again post transplant–had been able to keep his myeloma in check.
Unfortunately, once again Pat has relapsed. He has been working with his myeloma specialist, Dr. Melissa Alsina, to plot a new therapy course. Possible options include adding Cytoxan to the Velcade and dex combo (CyBorD), starting the newly FDA approved drug, pomalidomide (Pomalyst), or simpy going back to try adding Revlimid together with the Velcade and dex (RVD) one last time.
Pat’s wife, Pattie, was first diagnosed with cancer in 1996. She is a cervical, uterine and ovarian cancer survivor. Despite a close call in 2009, Pattie remains cancer free today. Pattie now works with cancer patients at a Florida dialysis clinic. Pat is an author and freelance medical writer. He travels often, attending important medical conferences and speaking to cancer support groups.
The Killingsworth’s have dedicated their lives to helping other cancer patients and survivors learn to cope with their disease.