Wednesday Update, 2/6

Hi everyone!

Today Rob met with Palliative Care, a team of doctors, nurses and professionals who help treat side effects of cancer and cancer medications.

We are optimistic that he will finally get some relief from the neuropathy pain that has been making it difficult to walk.  It is believed the neuropathy is a side effect of the chemotherapy.

We are extremely grateful for their knowledge and encouragement, and integrated team effort with Rob’s oncology team.

What’s Next:

Tomorrow morning, Rob will have an outpatient procedure at the hospital to get his trifusion catheter (also called port). The port is how they will harvest the stem cells next week for the transplant, draw blood, and administer IV meds in the coming weeks.

At the last lab visit, the nurse told Rob, “Son, your veins are about done!” She, along with his doctor, agrees that the port will make things much easier going forward.

Please keep Rob in your thoughts and prayers for a long day ahead tomorrow, Feb. 7th!  I will post an update once we are back home, probably tomorrow afternoon. 

Thank you again for your love and support!! It is keeping us going, and we appreciate it beyond words!



Multiple Myeloma Explained

Hi everyone!

This is a link to some basic multiple myeloma information from the Mayo Clinic. As we get further along in the coming days and weeks, I will post more detailed updates on the stem cell transplant, including: ports, stem cell harvesting, high dose chemotherapy, the transplant itself, side effects and recovery.

For now, here is Multiple Myeloma explained in an easy to understand format: Infographic: Multiple Myeloma

Thank you for your continued love and support!!

“This is very good!”

Hi Keep Pounding Rob team!

The past week has been an extremely busy one with tests, labs, meetings, and preparation for the stem cell transplant.  Today, we went over the results of these recent tests with his hematologist.

Her exact words were,  “This is very good!” 

The first bone marrow biopsy consisted of 50 percent plasma cells in the bone marrow.  A plasma cell percentage of over 10 in the bone marrow is an indicator of active multiple myeloma. The latest bone marrow biopsy from after he completed chemotherapy shows only one to two percent of plasma cells in the bone marrow.  This is a 96-98% improvement!

Rob’s January PET scan showed no new myeloma activity since the September scan!  It also showed no current cancer activity in areas found during the September tests!

His m-spike level decreased from 1.3 to 0.2!

This wonderful news means we are full steam ahead for the stem cell transplant!   The next big phase will begin on February 8, 2019.  It will be the process to collect the healthy stem cells out of Rob’s bone marrow to use for the transplant.  This process could last about a week and will be outpatient.  

The final step begins February 25, when we check in to the hospital and Rob receives a high dose of chemotherapy.  Two days later the medical team will transplant his healthy stem cells back into his body to begin the recovery process. 

We will post much more details of what the stem cell transplant entails in a future post, along with some frequently asked questions. We are still processing all of the information we received today.

For now, we wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for your continued prayers, love and support!!

Ya’ll have helped Rob Keep Pounding!!  We will definitely need your continued prayers as we begin the next phase of this journey.  

Thank you again, Keep Pounding Team—this is indeed very good news!!

Stem Cell Screening Update

Hi everyone!

Rob is in the process of going through appointments and tests to prepare for his stem cell transplant. 

We are still waiting on the bone marrow tests and PET scan results from last week.

Today was the surgeon and the ophthalmologist.

The surgeon said Rob’s bone looked tremendous, which is a great sign that the chemo is working! They are thrilled that Rob is a stem cell candidate! This is the exact response they were hoping for when they first saw Rob in September. The surgeon will see Rob in six months after he recovers from the stem cell transplant.

Rob also got a good report from the ophthalmologist. We have a much deeper appreciation for the simple, “everything looks good, see you next year” kind of appointments. 😉

Coming up: 

Tuesday is a busy day, with heart and lung tests, labs, nurse visit and social worker appointment. The transplant coordinator is helping us navigate the schedule that day. I’ll probably be saying this often, but we are beyond thankful for his knowledge and help. 🙂

I’ll post an update as soon as we know results from the bone marrow test and PET scan, and after the appointments and tests on Tuesday. 

Thank you, Keep Pounding Rob team, for helping Rob Keep Pounding!!

We would be lost in this crazy journey without your love and support!!

Stem Cell Transplant: First Steps

Rob will be going through quiet a few tests in the next few weeks, to make sure he the can tolerate a stem cell transplant.  As with other posts on the blog, we are sharing these details with family, friends and others who are on the same or similar journey. 

This afternoon, Rob had his first test, which was a bone marrow biopsy. The oncologist hopes the plasma percentage decreases significantly from his first bone marrow biopsy back in September. We should know the results in a week.

The bone marrow test today and the upcoming PET scan will show how the myeloma is responding to the chemo. Other upcoming tests include heart and lung function tests, to make sure all is well for the stem cell transplant.

Yesterday, we met our stem cell transplant coordinator, and he is walking us through every step of the way.  We are thankful for his guidance!

Thank you for the sweet words of encouragement and love!! It means so much!!

On to Stem Cell Transplant!!

Hi  Keep Pounding Rob Team!

We had a good appointment today, and received the wonderful news that Rob will be undergoing a stem cell transplant! While it does sound scary at first, it is the most aggressive way to fight the multiple myeloma, and thus, help him Keep Pounding!!

A brief synopsis, with more details to follow later:

Doctors will collect stem cells from Rob where the chemotherapy has reduced or eliminated the multiple myeloma activity.  These stem cells will be frozen until the transplant.  

The most aggressive way to fight multiple myeloma is with high dose chemotherapy (high dose chemo is much more intense than Rob’s current chemo regimen).  Unfortunately, high dose chemo kills healthy stem cells and bone marrow, as well as those with cancer. The purpose of the stem cell transplant is to restore healthy stem cells that would be killed during this high dose of chemo.  

After the high dose chemo is received, the previously collected cells are put back into Rob’s body.   They will then help rebuild Rob’s bone marrow, stem cells, and blood.  Hopefully this will be accomplished without any active multiple myeloma cells. 

We will add more information soon, as it becomes available.   

Prayer Requests

Please pray as Rob begins many tests in preparation to begin the stem cell transplant process.

Please also pray for Rob’s continued patience, endurance, and courage to Keep Pounding as we head into the next part of this journey.  

Thank you, Keep Pounding Rob Team!!