In late February of 2007 Irene (and I) was surprised to learn that her cholesterol had dramatically increased. After being put on medication, she became extremely fatigued and later had swollen extremities. A short time later we learned that she had two blood clots; one in her leg and the other in her lung. Tests were done and she then learned that high levels of protein were escaping her bloodstream through her urinary tract. She was then diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome, a rare kidney disorder which caused the above symptoms. Nephrotic Syndrome usually has an underlying problem of some sort. In Irene’s case, it is Amyloidosis. There is no cure to Amyloidosis.
Irene was hospitalized at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz on April 30, 2007.
Through an amazing set of circumstances (more on this at a later time) she was later transferred to UCSF where she remains at this time. The UCSF medical team is amazing.
We hope that treatment will begin soon.
This is what we have been told by the medical team at UCSF:
4 days of shots to separate stem cells in her bloodstream.
After this is completed, there will be 2 days of collecting stem cells that will be frozen (enough for two transfusions).
2 weeks of intense chemotherapy will follow to kill the bone marrow.
Transfusion of the collected stem cells will occur at this time. We hope for remission of the abnormal protein antibodies that were being produced in her blood.
She will remain in the hospital for 3-4 weeks to be closely monitored. This is the time of highest risk for infection and complications.
3 months of convalescing at home follows.
We have been told that there is a 15% chance that the treatment/procedure could produce fatal results.
If Irene has no treatment her life expectancy is about 18 months.
Average life expectancy with a successful procedure is 6 years.
Irene is ready to beat the odds!!!! I have never seen her more spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepared for the challenge.
Thank you for your continued support!!!