Tuesday morning was filled with anxiety, for both of us. We had an appointment with Dr. Larry Anderson, a Multiple Myeloma Specialist, for a 2nd opinion; and to find out if Bob could be a candidate for a Stem Cell Transplant.
He was to be at the Seay Biomedical Building, on the UT Southwestern campus, at 12:00 for blood work. We arrived a little after 11:00 - knowing that there would be more forms to complete. The lobby, outside the lab, was filled with patients like Bob, in various stages of cancer therapy. To say it was a sobering experience would be an understatement.
Bob's weight was 199, he had lost 18 lbs. in just a little over two weeks! And, when measured in August (BC - before cancer, or before we knew he had MM) his height was still 5' 11" - now he was 5' 9". Of major concern was the fact that his Blood Sugar was 432 - a combination of being taken off his medication and the effects of the Dexamethasone (steroid).
Dr. Anderson advised that he was going to suggest that the Dex dosage be reduced until the Blood Sugar could be controlled. He also wrote a prescription for a different diabetic medication that could be combined with the chemo treatment.
We found that we had been blessed with another good doctor - one that was willing to answer our questions. As I took notes, he stopped to spell medical terms for me. How had he been so lucky, in such an "unlucky" situation, to have two great oncologist? God was certainly watching over him, thanks to all the prayers being lifted up, on his behalf.
Dr. Anderson confirmed that the diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma was correct. He told us that the Bone Marrow Biopsy had revealed that he had 18% Plasma Cells (anything over 10% is abnormal). The Monoclonal Protein, which should be 0, is 3.4. The BMB also revealed that he had a deletion of Chromosome 13, Extra 7 & 9 Chromosomes, but his Main Chromosomes were normal.
He explained that Bob is now in the Induction Therapy phase, with 4 - 6 cycles of Chemo required. The Monoclonal Protein will have to be reduced to at least 50% (1.5 or 1.6) before he can be considered for a SCT.
Once the Monoclonal Protein shows partial response, he can return to Dallas for a 'Pre-transplant workup' which would entail another Bone Marrow Biopsy, Xrays, MRI of the Spine, Cardiac test, Breathing test, Blood work, etc.
Until then, we'll continue to take one day at a time ....thanking God for each day that he has, but praying for many more! We left Dallas, on Wednesday, headed back home in much better spirits.