Stem Cell Transplant Keeps Hope Alive

Memphis, Tn - Jana Stressel and her husband Jay were living life as empty nesters. She was active and healthy, walking five miles a day. The couple was getting ready for an out of town trip back in 2009, when sickness settled in. Jay knew it was trouble so he rushed his wife of 28 years to the hospital.

"They immediately sensed something was wrong. My blood pressure was really high. I was in bad shape...they went to work on me very quickly," says Jana.

Doctors told Jana she was losing blood from somewhere, so she underwent several blood transfusions. Her kidneys were shutting down. For two weeks, doctors wondered what was going on. Doctor Ed Muir, an oncologist with the Jones clinic, was the doctor who finally diagnosis her.

"He came in and told us I had multiple myeloma."

The cancer was at stage 3, which means the disease was already advanced. To make matters worse, she had kidney dysfunction, which required dialysis. She started chemotherapy the next day.

"My cancer is aggressive so they have to treat it aggressively, and there have been some pretty bad days."

At one point, she was receiving 3 different chemotherapy treatments at one time.

"I never cried, I was never sad, I was never scared. I just pretty much felt like ok, what do I need to go? Let's do it."

Dr. Muir explains Multiple Myeloma as cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. The plasma cells grow out of control and form tumors in the areas of solid bone.

The growth of the bone tumors make it harder for the bone marrow to make healthy blood cells. This makes a person more prone to infections, back pain, fatigue, and unexplained broken bones, all symptoms Jana had, but ignored.

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Stem Cell Transplant Keeps Hope Alive

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