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Gary Christison

 

Abbotsford, BC, Canada; global_cowboy@hotmail.com

1961 / Class of '05 / Broken pelvis / Chemo and SCT / Updated: 7/06

I was born in Australia in 1961 and worked hard and played even harder. I have always done very active work, working for a cattle ranch in Australia and rodeoing. I moved to Canada in 1987 and continued to ranch and rodeo while living in British Columbia. I was involved in a hit and run accident and was told that I had spinal damage caused by the accident and my rodeo lifestyle. I was sent to physio and then to rehab, but without any form of surgery, my pain continued. I moved to Alberta to continue ranching and rodoeing. While on a break to see my 3 yr old son, I stood up at the restaurant we had been at for dinner and collapsed to the ground in the worst pain I have ever experienced. I thought I had a pinched nerve but after collapsing again the next morning I went to the emergency and was told that I had a broken pelvis.

After CT scans and MRI I was sent to a surgeon at the BC cancer clinic, where I was told that the break to my pelvis was so severe that in September of 2005 they were going to amputate my left leg by doing a hemipelvectomy. They also said I had a growth on my pelvis, and after a biopsy I was told it was cancerous. I had radiation treatment which killed the cancer, but was then told that the cancer did not start there.

After a whole bunch of tests, I was told I had Multiple Myeloma, so in January, 2006 I started chemo and then had more chemo and a stem cell transplant. My younger sister in Australia was tested but was not a good enough match, so my own stem cells were taken. My first rounds of chemo I had almost no side effects except hair loss, but the chemo that I had with the stem cell transplant was a whole different story. I had mouth and throat blisters, severe tiredness, no energy at all, and then got an infection, so I spent about a month in total being given IV's because I couldn't eat or swallow.

I did, however, overcome all of this and my proteins went from 52.5% when diagnosed to 12.5%. But after 2 months my doctor told me my proteins were back up to 28% and then 32% with in 2 weeks. I was then put on Velcade and Dexamethasone (again ) for 3 cycles. My proteins dropped to 20% and I now I am going on an oral medication in a few weeks, so I guess we will wait and see. I have also been receiving permigiate for bone growth and can now take a few steps on my left leg, so the doctors are convinced that my pelvis is knitting itself back together. (Yee haw! I'll be able to ride my horse again, and hopefully go team roping again.)

So, to anyone reading this, don't give up hope there is a cure just around the corner.

Gary A Christison (suviving and enjoying life)

 

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