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August 20, 2018

Grief is very specific – so personally and tragically specific. I cannot and will not ever speculate or pretend to know how a grieving mother must feel, because to mourn the loss of a child is incomprehensible to me. The death of a sibling, as I’ve witnessed through th...

May 15, 2018

Bruce has been sitting on his bureau in the bedroom since I brought him home three months ago. It sounds strange, like a dark sitcom, but it seems to me the best place for now. I don’t think the girls realize it’s him, and if they do, they’ve not mentioned it. We tell...

April 16, 2018

This morning before work I dropped my daughter at school to catch the bus departing for 6th grade camp. As she flings her over stuffed backpack onto a pile of sleeping bags and runs off to braid hair and giggle about the bunk arrangements, I stand nearby with parents I...

March 27, 2018

Bruce would have said it was the perfect day - and it was.

We felt him everywhere.

We saw him on every face.

We love him.

He would have been honored.

Thank you.

March 11, 2018

A Service Will be Held Thursday, March 15 at 11:00am:

Sacred Heart Church

4776 Saratoga Avenue

San Diego, CA 92107

Reception to Follow: 

San Diego Yacht Club

1011 Anchorage Lane

San Diego, CA 92106

February 25, 2018

The afternoon of February 22 was filled with an unspeakable sorrow. 

Although the skies were grey, the heavens were rapturous, as Bruce Sutphen said his final farewell. His courageous spirit was lifted and carried, with a gentle prayer, to a place of peace.

The next few...

January 21, 2018

This photo was taken August of 2001. My parents gave us a party in Gladwin, Michigan after we eloped! I was newly pregnant with Mare. What a beautiful trip it's been. 

I walked into the hospital today and it struck me that Bruce has been a patient here for the better pa...

December 21, 2017

I didn’t want to write the blog, I didn’t want to put the words down or have to rethink or revisit the last 10 months; of all the calculated decisions Bruce has had to make regarding chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and his day to day push trying to out think, out mane...

July 15, 2017

It sure was a bumpy ride through hell.

Melphalan is a type of chemotherapy that is very successful in treating Multiple Myeloma. Two days after it's given side effects take over completely. In Bruce's case his blood counts dropped dramatically and within 4-5 days he hit...

July 5, 2017

It doesn’t matter how much of an explanation we were given about the process and treatment plan for Bruce's stem cell transplant or about how awful, tough, trying and tiring this process would be, I thought Bruce would be the exception, but he’s not and it’s punishing....

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Bruce is the toughest man we've ever known. Truly our hero. The sort of person that can do just about anything -physically or mentally. He can fix any broken piece or part with scraps from his work bench while explaining the formula for the Pythagorean Theorem, and that's all while teaching our girls to single-handedly sail a boat.  That’s why it came as such a shock.

 

Bruce had been experiencing back pain that seemed manageable during the day but would worsen at night. He'd also been fighting a chest cold and felt like his coughing had injured a rib. Pain was the deciding factor. We woke the girls and told them not to worry, that we were taking Daddy in for some tests and we'd be home in a few hours.

 

Emergency Rooms are filled with those that need it most, certain we were over-reacting, we headed to Scripps Memorial E.R. the night of February 10. We kept reassuring ourselves that it wasn't serious.  A herniated disc, or maybe persistent pneumonia. Our hopes were hung on a steroid injection and some antibiotics.

 

Bruce was checked in for some routine tests that led to a CT Scan and MRI. The results indicated bone lesions and he was sent directly to the Oncology Ward. 

The Diagnosis
Multiple Myeloma
WHERE BRUCE IS RECEIVING TREATMENT

Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells that affects several areas of the body and in Bruce's case, his bones. A tumor that grows from cancerous plasma cells is called a plasmacytoma. Isolated plasmacytoma is diagnosed when a single tumor grows, while multiple myeloma is diagnosed when more than one plasmacytoma develops. Plasmacytomas most often begin developing in the bone marrow, eventually spreading through the cavity containing the marrow and later the bone itself. Although myeloma grows within the bone, it is not considered bone cancer. This year more than 30,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with myeloma, according to the American Cancer Society.

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