I am thankful for Linda’s ability to be thankful in all things. Last night we had a frank conversation about hair loss. While Linda’s hair has been hanging in there quite well up to this point, lately there has been noticeable hair loss on a daily basis. We’re able to meet with some volunteers in the hospital salon and get a wig, turban, and scarf. It seems like it’s time for that step. Her conclusion to the reality of her hair loss is that she won’t need to take so much time to wash and maintain it. While hair loss is near the bottom of our list of concerns, it is a constant visual reminder of the battle your going through. It’s almost as if people around you are able to forget that you’re going through cancer, but that’s much harder to do when you lose your hair.
Bone Marrow Transplant
For those of you who are walking with us through this cancer journey, we wanted to share with you the next steps in Linda’s treatment. Due to the nature of her multiple myeloma, it has been decided that one intense treatment of chemotherapy is the best method for obtaining long term health and maintenance. This treatment will follow her 4th series of chemo, which is a few weeks away. Because this treatment will be quite intense, they will be harvesting some of Linda’s own stem cells prior to the treatment so that they can, shortly after the treatment, put them back. The actual harvesting of the stem cells will only take one or two days, but the entire process which includes preparation will be about 2 weeks. A couple of weeks after having harvested the stem cells, the plan is to give her a heavy dose of chemotherapy which will prayerfully destroy the cancer cells but will also destroy many other cells. At this point they will replace the harvested stem cells which over the course of the following 10 days will once again populate her bone marrow and begin reproducing the blood cells she needs. Due to the serious nature of this procedure, Linda will need to be hospitalized for about 3 weeks or so.
This is likely the course of action, but we can’t be certain about all these things. We’re still praying they find that all the cancer is gone following another bone marrow biopsy. If this is the course of treatment that we follow, it is likely to unfold throughout the end of February and into April.