Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrate! One Year Post Transplant Appointment at Duke

Wednesday was a joyful day! We headed to the Duke ABMT Clinic with EZ's test results in hand, knowing they had also been sent ahead to Dr. Gasparetto (the oncologist) and Amanda (her nurse practitioner), for their review. We were excited to once again visit the place where Ernie was given a clean start, free of multiple myeloma cells. A place where we spent a month preparing for, and recovering from, the transplant. To help show our gratitude, I baked cookies to share with the nurses and doctors, and we looked forward to seeing every one of them and giving lots of hugs. It felt, in some ways, like going back home for a reunion. And best of all, we already knew we were going to celebrate good news! Everyone was  elated to see Ernie looking so well, especially walking  around without a walker or cane! Remember, for the most part, they see patients during the worst of times. I guess I was so busy handing out cookies and hugging, that I forgot to take pictures!

In layman's terms, the MRI, Skeletal Survey, Urinalysis, Bone Marrow Biopsy and Blood Work all showed that EZ remains in complete response! Therefore, the transplant and other treatments have been a success! Hallelujah! We know that the stem cell transplant and maintenance therapy he is on, are his best hope for long term survivorship, so for now, we know they are working and we must simply pray it stays that way. His check-ups at Duke will now be every six months, rather than every three. Of course, until we hear otherwise, he will continue to see Dr. Kritz at our local cancer center for monthly labwork and bone strengthener. Ernie has dominated Multiple Myeloma!

Picture of EZ in his dominate t-shirt one year ago!
We are looking forward to attending  the 14th Annual Patient Reunion for the Duke Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Program on October 29th. There are, sadly, a few faces we met walking the halls, that will not be at the reunion, losing their battle with leukemia. But we hope to see many others that fought blood cancers alongside us.

We take it one day at a time, satisfied to live with the side effects of the disease and treatments, being grateful that the cancer is no longer multiplying out of control, invading EZ's body. In the struggles of the the past year, we have certainly found this to be true..."So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for Ernie's healing. Once again, let us say that your love and support mean the world to us as we continue to fight multiple myeloma. Have a blessed weekend and find something to celebrate!


  1. PTL! I love to read your updates! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  2. So thoughtful of you to bring them all cookies. I can't believe the nurses handed you the empty Tupperware before you even left-- talk about a successful gift to them!

    SO happy for Dad's continued complete response results!!! We need to keep it that way!

  3. Your right...

    I will go find something to celebrate !! How about the good news about Big EZ??? As good a reason as any!

  4. So grateful for Dad's continued complete remission! And I'm sure they enjoyed your cookies and your visit so much at the DABMC!!!

  5. So happy to hear this wonderful news! Praise God!!

  6. What great news to start the weekend on! So happy to hear your results looked so good. Love you guys!
    A and P

  7. Congrats on a year! Here's to many, many more. xo

  8. Such good news that brings hope to many who are just getting started on their journeys... have a blessed day and celebrate the good time and good news, for each day with Him is a good day with Good News.

  9. Fantastic news on the complete response front, as well as Ernie strutting his stuff without any walking aid. And of course the cookies look goooooood! :D