Just when we were ready to enjoy our semi-retirement, our lives took a big turn. It was 2010, and we had been married for more than 20 years. Michael's back pain led to the discovery of a spinal tumor - the first sign of an incurable blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma.
Although we were shocked and overwhelmed, we made the cancer fight our total focus. The treatment was difficult, but it saved Michael's life. We are so greatful that has remained in remission for seven years. The unfortunate reality is that his cancer is expected to return. In the meantime, a dozen new drugs have secured FDA approval and are now available if Michael needs them. The research and treatment of Multiple Myeloma are moving forward in ways we never dreamed of when Michael was diagnosed.
In a strange twist of fate, our beautiful dog, a rescued 130lb Akita named Toshi, was also diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma! This disease is so rare in humans and in dogs (less than 2% of all cancers for both) that Michael's Myeloma Specialist had never had a patient and his pet both with this same rare cancer before. We found our beloved Toshi the best specialist we could find. Toshi was treated and remained in remission for three full years. Sadly his journey ended this year. But he lived a full life until age 12. We did all we could for him and his cancer journey. He was great companion to us. We miss him every day. Toshi is the Dog of The Year!
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has been so helpful in supporting our family and forwarding the treatment and cure of Multiple Myeloma.
Join the pack that is fighting back!
Chris, Michael & Toshi