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May 22, 2017

An Autologous Stem Cell Transplant

Bruce will be receiving an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant which means his own stem cells will be taken before treatment, then given back to him after heavy doses of chemotherapy. It is approximately a one month duration between prep a...

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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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