Where it all stems from.

Posted on October 18th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

We had a meeting with the Haematologist this Monday, I forgot to mention. It seems my case is very extraordinary, and therefore quite difficult to work out what is going on. He said that nothing has really been usual in my case and therefore they are not going to be taking any chances with what to expect. It seems that my journey has been quite uncharacteristic of this disease from the start, including that it is presenting in a 33 year old.

We have decided at this stage to harvest my stem cells as a way of ‘hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst’. There is a timing issue in that if they need to radiate my pelvis in the future, it could delay the treatment process. I was happy to hear that they are planning to extract my stem cells with a process that doesn’t involve chemotherapy. It will involve daily injections for about 5 – 10 days until enough stem cells jump ship from my bones to my blood stream. Then, the stem cells are captured with a particular machine that I call ‘The Stem Cell Catcher Machine’ (I know, brilliant). Then the little suckers are put on on the shelf until I need them, if I need them. If they end up not using them for infusions, I will ask if I can get my stem cells back so that I dabble in a bit of cloning.

Libs and I are taking the next four weeks off, so two weeks are hanging around here for a few more appointments, and then two to go AWOL. We just need to go somewhere where I don’t have to look at another blood collection trolley, x-ray machine, biopsy needle or sterile sample bottle for a while.

Aside from that, for those that are not aware, there are some really valuable comments that people are posting where they are sharing their own journeys. I have found these really insightful and would encourage people to keep their eyes on the comment sections (by clicking on the word ‘Comments’ at the bottom of each post) or to post your own experiences. You may find that sharing your walk with others is the cheapest therapy ever.

13 comments.

liznlach

Comment on October 19th, 2007.

“I will ask if I can get my stem cells back so that I dabble in a bit of cloning” Hmmm… 7 more Cams? BTW ASCs (Adult Stem Cells) are definitely the way to go. Have happy AWOL. Love from L&L

gm22

Comment on October 19th, 2007.

“I will ask if I can get my stem cells back so that I dabble in a bit of cloning” – that’s how they founded a country called Cameroon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameroon

Terry

Comment on October 20th, 2007.

Hey Cam – I thought I was seeing things when I saw you walking in the car park to let someone through the gate yesterday. Great recovery Mista ! Round 1 to Cameron Harris !

Coopers

Comment on October 20th, 2007.

Cam – please – dont do it. One of you is more than enough… You’re enough, you’re enough, you’re enough for me…

Lynne Warrington

Comment on October 20th, 2007.

Well personally I think the world could do with a few more Cameron Harris’s. Guys, have a well earned break you deserve it.
Love and prayers out to you both.
Lynne W.

Tim Wilson

Comment on October 20th, 2007.

Hey Cam! Long time no see! I’ve been reading your post for months and praying for you every day since I first heard about your condition (close to when you were first diagnosed).

I would pay you a visit except I’m in Melbourne these days. My wife is a pharmacist so she sees cancer patients pretty often, and so you are especially in our heartfelt prayers. A few months ago she noted in a pharmacy journal that an estimated 52% of cancer patients treat their condition through “prayer or other spiritual means” – which is really quite something coming from a medical journal – don’t you think! :)

I can’t really begin to imagine what you’ve been through – but I am glad God has kept you strong through all of it. Praise God for the success that has happened so far.
Hope you have a good break together. I’ll make sure keep praying for you, and your wife and family.

Cheers, Tim & Edith Wilson.

nate dogg

Comment on October 22nd, 2007.

Dopey, this has all been a fascinatingly well written account of your misfortune/fortune, but I have a very important question for you…Will you please write my research paper cause you can freakin spill some words on a page man?!?

:) :) Still prayin for you bro… oh and my personal journey was to wal mart last week…man…talk about patience and understanding…there was this really fat woman with two teeth and a mullet that was in front of me buying all the halloween candy up, and i was like hey stupid fat toothless mullet woman why don’t you leave some for the kids and she said shutup and so i did…
love and miss

Cam

Comment on October 22nd, 2007.

Brother Nate,
I may have a way with the written word, but you surely have a gift in in the spoken word. Man, your words to the candy-buying lady – pure poetry! Glad to hear that you didn’t end up toothless also!
I’m looking forward to being back in the US as soon as I can. So keep the chaw fresh and the ice-tea sweet. Happy Halloween, hope you find some candy somewhere.
Muchos Lovos,
C

Jim Williams

Comment on October 22nd, 2007.

Hi,

As amazing rare as it is, my story is actually very similar to yours. I am a 27 year old male with multiple myeloma, or maybe solitary plasmacytoma. Much like you, everything seems to point towards multiple myeloma but for some reason, we have looked and looked and looked (47 MRI, PETS and CTS in 15 months) and we can only find one plasmacytoma. I cant write much now, but it sounds like I a bit further in this process, so I thought that I would try to share some insight.

I could not tell from your posts if you actually got radiation or if they only got ready to give you radiation. If you have not yet gotten radiation, I would very very very seriously look into getting a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even 5th opinion on this– I know that radiation is the “standard treatment for plasmacytoma, but it is slowly starting to be considered to be a bad idea by many top doctors. Arguably the very top MM doctor in the world is DR. Bart Barlogie at the University of Arkansas is try hard to spread the word that radiation is not a good idea for plasma. Although is works at first, he believes that in the long run it causes many more problems. Unfortunately, before seeing Dr. Barlogie I was give about 75g of radiation– and it almost worked– it killed about half of the cancer– but now I am trying to kill the rest of the cancer and the after effects of the radiation have really gotten in the way. According to Dr. Barlogie, it was probably the radiations fault that my last round of chemo did not work better, and if was definitely the radiations fault that stem cell collection did not work very well—- this seems to be by far the biggest reason to think about staying away from radiation—- the radiologist swore the that radiation would not effect stem cell collection in the future– but it did. A few months ago I finished collecting stem cells (much like you with the growth hormone shots). The collection took me 10 days and I still did not get as many as they would have liked for a 27 year old. I had to stop collecting because we just could not get any more cells– on a up note I did get enough for a few transplants if it ever becomes necessary. (20 million +/-)– the bad part is that because of the radiation, if I ever have to collect again I may not be able to get enough stem cells– which is scary.

If you have already done the radiation– don’t worry– I am doing fine– it just made things a lot harder— your case is indeed very rare— You might consider looking up Dr. Bart Barlogie at the University of Arkansas– I believe he sees more people with MM then anyone else in the world, so for people with very very rare cases of it like you and me, he is one of the few people that has possible seen if before— however, It sound like you are in Australia, and as I am sure you know, there are some great MM docs. There also—-anyway– hope this helps— feel free to email if you have any specific questions jmw_Williams@yahoo.com

Good luck and God bless

rachel w

Comment on October 22nd, 2007.

Hi Cam,

Just checking in, great to hear things are looking up and that you can spend some time recouping and relaxing with your lovely lady. Have a great time away.

Maura

Comment on October 24th, 2007.

When Cameron was in Egypt’s land…….. let my Cameron go!!! Ah….. hugs Cam!! I got a phone call from Nate last night to catch me up on you. I have spent quite some time reading your site. I have always been, and continue to be so inspired by your strength and courage! I am sure it has not been easy. Know that we are all here… even way over here in the states to love, support, and pray for you and your family!

Ruth

Comment on October 24th, 2007.

Hope this break gives you both fresh energy for this “Pilgrim’s Progress” journey, Cam. Thanks for your candid and quirky posts…may the spirit of Cam remain strong!
love Ruth

Glynn & John Vivian

Comment on October 29th, 2007.

Dear Cam and Elizabeth
We have been keeping an eye on your blurbs for awhile now and wish both you and Elizabeth (sorry, but she will always be “ELIZABETH” to us!!) strength and endurance as you continue your journey/

You are are touching the lives of many and I am inspired to pray – something I haven’t done for a long time now.

May God bless you and keep you safe Cam
Love John and Glynn

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