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CHC-NE is Part of EveryMove
CHC-NE is excited to announce that we are participating in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska's EveryMove charity program. EveryMove promotes and rewards healthy lifestyles. When members of Blue Cross Blue Shield sign up for EveryMove, they automatically start earning rewards points for working out. Walking, running and biking are among the hundreds of activities that will earn points towards a donation charity reward. One of those rewards will be a donation to Community Health Charities of Nebraska.
My name is Richard Lodes and I live in Lincoln. I have a lovely wife who is a teacher, a son who is a junior in high school and a daughter who is a junior in college. In 1997, I was at the peak of life. I was out of debt, in great physical shape, and had two cute children ages 6 and 10. Life was grand! On Jan. 13, 1998, I was involved in a vehicle accident and, while at the hospital, I had a CT scan of my neck because I was complaining of pain. The next day, the doctor’s office called for an immediate visit. The scan had revealed bone abnormalities consistent with multiple myeloma – bone marrow cancer. The prognosis was a death sentence: half of the people die in five years; only 2 percent live 10 years. Devastation is the only word to explain how my wife and I felt. How could I get cancer? I had a good diet, lifted weights three times a week, walked miles, biked, didn’t drink alcohol, never smoked, and there was no history of cancer in my family. It just didn’t seem it could be real. I was far too young to die and leave my wife with a family; my kids would grow up without a dad.
Since multiple myeloma is a blood cancer, it is part of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which was there to answer our questions. They explained in greater detail how the cancer worked, what the current treatment protocol would be, and what future research that might help me. After six months of chemotherapy, my bone marrow showed no signs of cancer. The next stage was an autologous stem cell transplant.
After the transplant, I took prednisone for a year. Again, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was there helping us through the entire process, not only answering our questions but with financial assistance for the prednisone and other drugs during treatment. The transplant worked until 2006. At the 2006 annual checkup, a small quantity of abnormal protein was found. For the next two years, the amount of abnormal protein has remained incredibly low and we are currently in a “let’s wait and see” stage. However, the exciting news is the new treatments available are incredible. Because of research funded by LLS, there is a good chance the new chemotherapy can put the multiple myeloma in remission for many years. And there are much fewer side affects than the treatments endured several years ago. I have been blessed to still be here. Life was grand in 1998 before my cancer diagnosis. Now it is beyond grand; I don’t believe there is a word to describe how rich each day is in my life. To have been able to see my young children become teenagers and college age kids just cannot be expressed with any words. Along the journey, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has been there for us. And, I am sure they will be there for us for whatever lies ahead.