Friday, February 15, 2008


After the last visit to the Oncologist, we were faced with the necessity of deciding where to go to continue treatment. Some options were given to us, but everything was left in our hands. After much research, and thanks to those of you who assisted in that research, after much soul-searching, and after much prayer, we have decided on the University Of Chicago Hospital. We found that they have a center dedicated to multiple myeloma, and that the head of the center is on the board of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. There is also a strong connection to the Dana Farber Institute in Boston and their Multiple Myeloma Research center. Dr. Zimmerman at Chicago apparently has strong ties to Dr. Anderson in Boston, who is one of the leading Myeloma researchers in the world. When originally faced with this decision we did feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to turn. Then we made the obvious turn, and asked for help, help from friends and help from God. I believe that God has led us to this place, that this is the place best suited to treat this disease. The procedure used in this treatment is an autologous transplant, using my own stem cells. This is apparently the current standard of treatment for Multiple Myeloma. So, for the moment, there is no need for a bone marrow donor, at least not yet. The possibility of that need could rise again. One thing I may need is blood donors, so keep that in mind, I would like a blood supply that I can trust! How fast all of this will happen is still unknown. My insurance company is talking to the hospital, hopefully working out the details. I do know that this procedure will not take as long as a transplant from an outside donor. I will have to go there for two days for intensive chemotherapy, then return home for two weeks and inject my self with a hormone to increase stem cell production. I would then return to Chicago and have the stem cells harvested. I would then return home while the stem cells are cleaned for re-implantation. Two weeks later I go back to Chicago, have another round of intensive chemo to kill off all remaining cancer cells, then have the stem cells implanted to re-grow bone marrow. This should lead to remission. It’s a big step into a dark unknown, but I feel more hopeful now than I have for a while. I believe God has led me here, and I trust this is the right place, the right team, and the right time.

When you come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.
Patrick Overton

St. Peregrine,
Pray for us
Deacon John
Feb. 15, 2008

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