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June 30, 2017

Day two and three went as expected for Bruce. He received his last dose of Melphalan and to prevent nausea, he was given Zofran, which in turn gave him headaches. The doctor switched his medication to Ativan and he seems to be handling it well. His words, “I really, re...

June 28, 2017

Upward. The Thing about going beyond is we have to keep going - Cheryl Strayed.

After 5 months of day to day fighting to beat back the Multiple Myeloma cancer cells in Bruce’s blood, we arrived to Green Hospital ready to check in for his Stem Cell Transplant. We spent t...

June 19, 2017

It's been one of Bruce's best weeks since his February diagnosis. Radiation has slowly relieved the pressure of nerve pain with the shrinking of his spinal cord tumor, for the first time in quite awhile, he has feeling back in parts of his left arm. His foley is gone,...

June 9, 2017

One of Bruce’s favorite sayings. Yet each week we try. 

I wish I had a more positive report regarding Bruce’s recent progress, but the past week left us feeling the June Gloom in more ways than one. Bruce’s days have been filled with a significant amount of struggl...

June 2, 2017

Food Is The Best Medicine

You've proven this true. All the meals that continue to be prepared and delivered to the Sutphen home are truly messages of love. Each dinner is prepared with heartfelt warmth and it's remarkable how we can taste it in each dish. Bruce's appeti...

May 30, 2017

Schedule For Stem Cell Transplant

We started the holiday weekend with good news regarding Bruce's bone marrow biopsy. After waiting a week to hear the results we arrived to his doctors appointment prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best. Dr. Mahindra delivered t...

May 30, 2017

Thank You

It is with the relentless support of our friends and family that we continue to cope. From far away we're sent loving messages filled with support. Our San Diego friends have taken on the role of “family” and carry us with daily meal delivery, transportation f...

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...

May 18, 2017

Bruce's Progress

It's been 3 months since Bruce was initially diagnosed and it's been a rough road. Each and every day has brought a significant amount of pain. Not the kind of pain that a couple Ibuprofen can take care of, but deep, intense bone and nerve pain that oft...

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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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