After 32 years in the cake and candy business, Angie Trent
of Chesapeake, Ohio, decided to enjoy the sweet rewards of retirement and sold
She felt the trip to a primary care physician, Patti Jo
Marcum, MD, for a routine exam in July 2013 would show a clean and healthy
report but received a call later that same day to come back for additional
She was alarmed by that request.
Trent’s doctor informed her that the blood tests indicated
that her hemoglobin was low and protein was high, and at a follow-up appointment,
her physician told her that she suspected multiple myeloma, a condition of the
bone marrow. She was referred to Marshall University School of Medicine hematologist
oncologist Mohamad Khasawneh, MD.
"It was like being hit by a truck, and my world came to
an abrupt standstill,” she says.
Later that month, a bone marrow biopsy confirmed the
diagnosis, and she began chemotherapy at the Joan C. Edwards Comprehensive
Cancer Center in Huntington, West Virginia, on the campus of Cabell Huntington
Khasawneh outlined her course of treatment which included a
referral to the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute Hematologic
Malignancies Program and George L. Strike Bone Marrow Transplant Center.
The program, which is registered with the FDA and is
accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT)
for quality transplant patient care, offers both inpatient and outpatient
During her evaluation for a stem cell transplant, it was
discovered that she had hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid gland. Her
chemotherapy was postponed until she had recovered from thyroid surgery, her
best choice of treatment for her over active thyroid condition. It was felt
that her hyperthyroid condition helped mask her symptoms related to the impact
of the myeloma.
After a brief recovery period from her thyroid surgery, she
resumed induction chemotherapy in Huntington. With favorable results, it was
time to proceed with preparation for stem cell collection and transplantation.
Trent was being prepared for an autologous bone marrow
transplant. With this type of transplant—also known as a stem cell transplant—a
patient's own healthy stem cells from their bone marrow, collected after the
cancer (myeloma) is eradicated with chemotherapy drugs, are returned to his or
her body through the venous circulation and find their way back into the bone
marrow where they begin doing their work of producing healthy cells.
Both autologous (patient’s own cells) and allogeneic (donor
cells) bone marrow transplantation are offered within the UC’s program, and the
center is the only one in the Tristate to offer outpatient bone marrow
Trent says the physicians and staff at the UC Cancer
Institute and UC Medical Center were phenomenal, but she couldn't help but get
a tad discouraged.
"I have a very positive attitude overall. Since the day
I was diagnosed, I turned it over to God and knew it was in his hands, but when
other medical problems began to surface (hyperthyroidism), I just needed a
little something extra to know it was going to be alright,” she says.
"We were building a new home near a local Catholic hospital,
and the nuns in the convent came to visit one day while I was outside walking
our dogs. They said they had been watching the construction of our new home and
just wanted to come by to see it. I guess that was God's sign to me that it was
all going to be OK. After all, the driver of the car with the nuns in it was
Finally on June 12, 2014, only two days before her and her
husband Bruce's 40th wedding anniversary, Trent had her transplant. She was the
50th patient to receive an autologous transplant within the program at the
She has been recuperating and her body has responded very
favorably to the transplant.
Trent is excited to spend time with her family and her
grandchildren and to enjoy the things in life that she hasn't been able to in so
"It's a journey that I'm glad is finally ending
well," she says. "However, I'm so happy to have been able to complete
my treatment at a place like the UC Cancer Institute.
"From the moment I met Mr. Mac—a wonderful man—at the
reception desk, I felt very confident that I was in the right place. Dr. Saulius Girnius and the mid-level providers, Nora and Lois, were very professional and
therapeutic. I bonded well with all the nurses in the infusion and collection
units and must say that Amanda and Homer hold a special place in my heart for
the care they provided me the day of my transplant. The entire team at the UC
Bone Marrow Transplant was superb.”
Bruce adds, "It's great to have an inpatient and
outpatient bone marrow transplant facility of this caliber with this level of
incredible experience within driving distance of our home."