Thursday, August 05, 2010

Bad News, Not So Bad News

My family received some bad news yesterday in parallel with some not-so-bad news.  My mom has been struggling with some health issues for several months now (see my previous post).  She has seen several different doctors, none of whom can find anything conclusive.  One standout issue was her anemia, unusual because it was unrelated to nutritional deficiency; her nutritional status (iron, Vitamins D and B12),  was very good.

Finally she landed in a hematologist's office.  He did some bloodwork, did a bone marrow biopsy, and diagnosed "smoldering" multiple myeloma.  "Smoldering" means "stable" or, not advancing.  At this point there is nothing to treat, so she will be watched via lab tests every couple of months.  If nothing develops after a year, she will be able to go longer between blood tests.  Thankfully, the doctor was able to rule out lymphoma.

I am more anxious and scared than Mom is!  She has great faith and optimism in spite of a very difficult life.  She has known so much loss!  Dear nieces and nephews, one of my brothers, my dad, all dying of unusual causes.  We actually lost one other relative, mom's paternal aunt, to multiple myeloma.  So we know a little about the disease and it makes it more scary to have already had one relative with it.

Mom grew up in the home of a single mother, a child of the Great Depression, before being a single mom was fashionable or acceptable.  Her mom was not always gentle and kind.  She was supposed to go to Stanford University but her mom didn't have money for college, so my mom ended up getting married without going to college.  She is smart, loving, interesting, fun.  My mom is the greatest and is a dear friend to me.

I am praying that the Integrative Medicine doc will be able to help her with the as yet unnamed issues that first took her to the doctor.  Hopefully she will have a lot of fine years yet to be part of our lives.

One interesting thing that I have found, after some reading around the Internet, is that there is a very possible link between celiac disease and multiple myeloma.  Also a link between celiac and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.


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