In the late summer of 2015 my wife and I moved to Columbus, each starting new jobs. During that fall and winter, my back ached, which we attributed to the move. In late January, 2016 I had an x-ray and CT scan which revealed disturbing results – a solitary plasmacytoma (tumor) had destroyed my T-11 vertebrae. On February 15th I underwent a 10 1/2 hour surgery to remove the tumor from around my spinal cord and stabilize my spine. After several weeks of rehab in the hospital, I underwent a month of radiation with the hope that it would destroy whatever cancer cells might have been missed in the surgery. (I had a 50/50 chance that it would not return)
In December 2016 it was determined that I did in fact have multiple myeloma, a (presently) incurable blood cancer. I then underwent several monthly cycles of chemotherapy and in June 2017 underwent a stem cell (blood marrow) transplant.
After several more cycles of chemo post-transplant, I have had a complete response and am in remission. Unfortunately I know that this is temporary and that the cancer will return. I am currently in a clinical trial testing a new drug regime for post-transplant treatment.
As a result of the research that has been done and is ongoing, my life expectancy has significantly increased from where it would have been just a few short years ago. With the support of my wife, four children, co-workers, numerous friends and all the tremendous people at the James, I have been able to move forward with gratitude and optimism for a promising future.