Welcome to our blog!

Thanks for checking in! We will give updates on how things are going with our fight against multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, that keith was diagnosed with in march 2010. It will be an uphill battle, but one we will not lose.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Round 2

Sorry it's been a while between posts. Things have been slow, then all of a sudden we have appointments back to back! Today we are at UNC Lineberger Cancer Center receiving the first dose of oral chemotherapy. Keith qualified for a study with a new drug that is coupled with a steroid and another oral chemo (one that he has been on before), so there will be many trips to UNC over the next 6 months. Ultimately he can stay on this study as long as he does well, for longer than 6 months if it proves to be beneficial. Also we are looking at the possibility of another stem cell transplant in the future once we get this under control. According to our specialist, this combination of drugs should have the least amount of side effects and should get him in remission fairly quickly. There will be days he will be here 8 hours, days he will be here 1 hour, and days he won't be at UNC at all. All of these drugs are taken by mouth and can be taken at home, but on certain days they need to monitor him with labwork and EKGs so those days he will be in a small private room. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. So far he is tolerating everything just fine other than not being able to eat for 1 hour before and 2 hours after meds. They got started a little late today so he was starving! Thanks again everyone! Much love....

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It's baaaacck.

Well, it's been a short 3 years. Keith has been in remission for the past 3 years but in September 2013 some routine labwork indicated that our visitor may be invading our lives once more. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed that multiple myleoma has once again become an unwanted member of our family. So to keep things simple, I decided to bring back the blog to those of you who aren't on facebook and to those of you who are, you can choose to read the blog instead of lengthy posts on my wall. Keith had an appointment at UNC last Friday and we met with a myeloma specialist who was totally awesome. After lots of big words and several really good options, we are awaiting some labwork to compare to the samples taken last month. Pending those results we will probably opt for an oral chemo cocktail followed by another stem cell transplant. The doctor mentioned to us about a new study that would include the oral chemo, steroids and another drug that we would have to travel to UNC several times per week for labwork and such. Honestly, I don't remember the details, but that's it in a nutshell. Because of Keith's age and good health, the doctor suggested a stem cell transplant sooner rather than later. UNC still has some cells left from last time, and they are viable for about 10 years. It has been 3, so the option to do it again would be a good one. I believe he would also stay on oral chemo regimen after transplant for as long as he does well. We all believe that this is his bet option at staying in remission the longest. We will go to his oncologist at Wakefield Tuesday morning to discuss things further and kind of keep everyone on the same page. We are so thankful to God for placing these awesome doctors and staff in our lives just when we need them. Also as much support as we had last time, I have no doubt we will get thru this obstacle with flying colors. Please be in prayer for us and especially Ben and Bella during this change. Ben is especially sensitive when it comes to cancer and losing my mom, we just don't want him to worry. And of course, Bella is also a worrier so we aren't sure how she will handle this. We just want to keep them as busy and happy as possible. I will update things as soon as we know more, but for now just keep us in your prayers! Big shout out to all of our peeps at Crossroads Church and family and friends from all around that are praying and already offering whatever we need in the future. Much love to everyone.

Monday, May 23, 2011

new beginnings.....

It has been a long time since my last post....so sorry everyone! Things are going very well here! At almost exactly 1 year from being diagnosed with multiple myeloma we got the news we have been praying for....REMISSION! To make a long story short, all has been going well....a few bumps in the road, urgent care visits, one 3 day hospital stay due to adult onset asthma! He did turn some heads while at wake med since his buddies in blue came by to see him...nurses thought he had done something wrong! pretty funny!
Ben turned 6 last week and bella will be turning 2 on june 26! my how time flies!
Keith continues to receive treatment once a month at his oncologist in Raleigh to strengthen his bones. It is called Zometa and it is an IV infusion, and it has side effects of its own, but we do what we must do!
Thank you all for the support and prayers and love. Multiple Myeloma is an incurable cancer, but we are very hopeful we will obtain a very long remission with the stem cell transplant. This disease is one that has lots of promise for a cure with new treatments coming about all the time. Please don't forget us in your prayers, we still struggle every day.
Keith has gained most of his weight back, all of his hair back and a lot of strength back. He is still however in constant pain due to the damage to his bones from the myeloma. The treatment he received will not repair the damage that has been done unfortunately. His bones are very soft and weak still and will probably never get a lot better...but he is alive and functional and is able to play with our children!
He is working light duty still at Cary PD....don't know when/if he will return to patrol or what capacity he will, but he is being taken care of, which is what good people do! I cannot commend the officers and staff with the town of cary enough. they have all been nothing less than awesome and we are so grateful to have such wonderful people on our side.
I will try and do better with keeping up the blog! it has been a busy few months! Softball season has begun for me and ben is playing coach pitch baseball and still in gymnastics!
Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

never a dull moment....

Things have been going pretty well for all of us. Keith returned to light duty work 3 days per week (12 hour shifts) a few weeks ago. He seems to be doing well with it so far. We do miss him when he isn't here!
Other than a few small bugs, viruses and a bought with pink eye, we are all doing well. Ben had an incident with some type of allergic reaction where he had facial swelling and an itchy mouth/throat. We are pretty sure it was a blow up ball pit that bella got for Christmas. He has been put thru allergy testing and are still waiting to hear from latex and ibuprofen allergies!
On a heavier note, a young mother in Lillington is in the fight of her life right now. She was diagnosed with melanoma around the same time as keith got his diagnosis and she is not doing well. From what I understand she can no longer take chemo and the docs recommend hospice, although i am not sure they have actually called them yet. Ben went to preschool with her youngest son for 2 years. She is a wonderful person and is only 36 years old. My blogs are normally filled with my usual dark humor and sarcasm, today it is filled with heartbreak for a family that does not deserve such sorrow. Please pray for them and especially the kids. Her name is Ann Bethune Mewborn and she is the sweetest person and so is her family.
My heart is so heavy for them knowing what they must be going thru and yet not knowing. You can never know what someone is going thru at a time like this as much as you think you do.
Pray for them and for us in the hopes that we will all kick cancer's evil butt and it will never be heard from again. As I read recently: Our God is bigger than cancer.

Monday, January 3, 2011

update 2011

So a lot has gone on since I last posted. First of all, the MRI of keith's back showed that what we thought were 2 new fractures were not new at all. They are old ones that are healing. Good news! This means NEW Myeloma didn't cause them. I supposed OLD myeloma did, but at least they aren't new. Bad news is he can't get them fixed surgically. They recommended physical therapy which he has been doing and although it is brutal, it seems to be helping. He still has chronic pain every day, but he is coping well with it.

We went to UNC Dec. 16 for his recheck since the transplant. His CBC (complete blood count) looked fantastic. His other labwork was pending, but I assume it is ok since we haven't heard. They decided to wait until the 6 month mark to do the bone marrow biopsy, which will be March 17. It was bittersweet. Wanted to get it over with and find out results, but Keith was relieved that he didn't have to have the lightpole sized needled stuck in his hip! So we wait......Keith may have to take chemo again at a very low dose with no steroids depending on what the test results say. Doc says some people opt to do that and some people wait to see if myeloma pops up and then do something. We will just have to wait and see and weigh the pros and cons.

He goes back to Dr. Wehbie in Wakefield tomorrow for his monthly visit, then Wednesday for more PT and recheck with the Cary Spine Center.
Christmas was great. All of us except Ben had a horrible stomach bug, but we have all since bounced back. The kids had a great Christmas. It was great to have Keith here with us.

The kids are very happy to see Keith being more active with them every day and so am I. I wasn't sure we would ever get back to that, but it looks promising now.

Thanks to everyone for their continued prayers and support. Unfortunately since this blog, another Cary Officer has also been diagnosed with cancer and will be undergoing aggressive treatment. His name is Matt. Please pray for him and his family and they have a tough road to travel.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

oncologist visit

Today we went to Keith's awesome oncologist at Wakefield. Bloodwork looked pretty good, still a little anemic, but can be caused by some meds, and his white cells are good, but has lots of immature ones still that can't fight off stuff. Doc asked that we forward the MRI scan results to him. He wants to make sure it's not myeloma again (new myeloma, not old, if that makes sense) He said that not everyone would be able to recognize myeloma for what it was and that he was very protective of keith like Keith was his "baby" (like special project). Now THAT is what a doctor should be. If they were all like that, more people would go get checked out sooner.

This doctor was my mom's doctor before she ever had cancer. He is also a hematologist. She had iron deficient anemia and he diagnosed her with that. We requested him to be keith's doctor before we knew he had cancer.

Please pray for us and that all will be in remission and his back will be healed. I know he wants to be normal again....well, as normal as he ever was....hahahaha!

Monday, November 8, 2010

it rears its ugly head again.....

it has been a while since i posted, but things here have been crazy. keith got a cold soon after being home from hospital, but has survived it without going back to UNC to stay. I have battled what we think is Vertigo for about 6 days now. Going back to ENT doc Thursday for some balancing tests to make sure it is nothing to worry about.
Ben and Bella are doing well, few minor issues, ben had a small asthmatic episode that kept him out of school for a day, but has bounced back without an ER visit, but did have to get steroids again at doc.
Bella is talking up a storm. No idea what she says most of the time, but she sure does.
We have found out during the last few months how wonderful our church family and how wonderful our friends really are. They have all come together and done things that I didn't think were possible. Our family has also been very supportive.
Keith was able to go out trick or treating for a bit on halloween! Getting out of the house certainly picked up his mood. His blood pressure has been really low but has seemed to finally be getting back to normal.
Today we went to the Cary Spine Center to get a second (or should I say, third?) opinion on his back pain. After reviewing his chart, MRI's, X-rays, bone scans, they did an exam, repeated his x-rays and found 2 NEW fractures in his back. This makes a total of 4. They are going to order a new MRI and then talk it over. There is a procedure that can be done that is a minor surgery and basically it injects cement into the damaged discs to for lack of a better word, lift them up, and it is supposed to take the pain away. I asked the doc what the recovery time was, he said, "cement dries in 24 minutes". WOW. He said he has had peeps come in riding in wheelchairs, and walking out when he was done. This is the only positive news we have heard about his back. Unfortunately, they have to be new fractures, it doesn't work on old ones, but old ones, once they are healed, do not cause pain. So it's a good thing we went. These have happened since March, so i guess they are considered new still (i hope!) Really, cancer, rear up your ugly head again, we will just beat it back down. Every. Single. Time.

Back to regular oncologist tomorrow. Will discuss all this in more detail with him
On a lighter note, the Multiple Mylemoa Reserach Foundation is having their 5k run in Washington DC this Sunday. We have some wonderful and cool friends heading up a team and are running in keith's honor. We are planning to go if doc says keith can handle that much riding.

Thanks to all of you for support and love and prayers. Our journey is no where near finished, but hopefully we have climbed the mountain and it will be a smooth sailing from now on out, so DON'T FORGET ABOUT US! The crisis is over (hopefully!) but we still need all the love and support and prayers we can get. We won't know for sure if he is in remission until after Dec. 16 when he will be re-staged.
Also, if there is anyone out there who doesn't have AFLAC or some sort of supplemental cancer insurance or if you think it is a crock, call me. I can change your mind. It can happen to ANYONE.
Also, a friend of ours has a new nanny. This nanny's sister was just diagnosed at 23 years of age, with some type of acute leukemia. she was airlifted to UNC where she is undergoing treatment (she isn't even fully concious). Please keep her in your prayers. Her name is Janessa Batchlor (not sure of spelling, but story is on my FB page) She is very very sick and her family lives out of state. She is a student in Wilmington.