Mr G has Multiple Myeloma which is cancer of the blood plasma and affects the bone marrow -- eating the bones from the inside out. This cancer falls somewhere in the leukemia/lymphoma cancer family -- somewhat similar in treatment. There is no cure, only treatment and remission. It has been 2 years since his diagnosis. On May 8, 2008, he had a bone marrow transplant. His own bone marrow stem cells were used for this.
So just a little over a year ago, Mr G looked like this:
And this... (a few days later)
When he came home on May 22, 2009, he looked like this:
For the last year, every three months, Mr G has to have a battery of tests done to check the progress (more hopefully the non-progress) of this cancer. Starting last August (at his first bone marrow transplant check up), the doctor said the Mr G certainly appeared to be in remission. This was indeed good news. The news was the same at the 6-month and 9-month marks.
Mr G was one of the first cancer patients to access the services of a new cancer department at Sutter Health Services and Sutter General Hopsital. His doctor, Michael Carroll, was enlisted from a medical practice in Arizona and started set-up of the cancer services at the beginning of 2008. Mr G was one of his first patients. When we first started visiting the new infusion center where he got his chemo and other stuff, he could walk in the door and have his choice of cubicles. This is not so any longer. When Mr G goes for his bone stregthening IV (every 4 weeks) it can be a long wait -- even with an appointment. BTW... he no longer needs to have this IV.
Mr G is still in remission. Dr. Carroll is extremely pleased with his tests. We asked how long the average remission can be and he said about 3 years. So yesterday the doctor's staff celebrated Mr G's 'First Birthday' with us. At that time, we found out that he is the first Bone Marrow Transplant patient at this cancer center to celebrate this milestone. This is the picture of the whole crew...
Mr G is in the whitish shirt (and holding the balloon). The gal next to him is one of the infusion center nurses. Dr. Carroll is behind Mr G's right shoulder; I am on his left. Linda (Dr Carroll's office manager and in charge nurse) is over my right shoulder. She hugs a lot. Dennis, the medical assistant who gives Mr G all his shots is waaaaay in the back (behind Dr Carroll).