City Councilman Kelly Boyd, seen here in July, will be undergoing a stem cell transplant over the next three weeks. (Don Leach, Coastline Pilot / July 1, 2013)

  • Related
  • Bryce Alderton Signature

  • Topics
  • Health Treatments
  • Hospitals and Clinics
  • Biotechnology
  • See more topics »

Kelly Boyd says the hard part of his cancer treatment has passed.

Boyd, 69, sounded relaxed when he discussed the next phase of treatment — a stem cell transplant.

For three weeks beginning Friday, the Laguna Beach city councilman will stay at City of Hope hospital in Duarte while doctors draw blood and extract white blood cells, Boyd said.

Doctors diagnosed Boyd with multiple myeloma in February and he has undergone chemotherapy treatment since.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in bone marrow, according to the Mayo Clinic website. Plasma cells normally make antibodies to help fight infections.

In the last 10 months, Boyd has given himself chemotherapy shots at home with the help of his wife, Michelle.

"The big part I've been through," he said.

As of last week, the cancer was in remission.

"I am cancer free," Boyd said.

This weekend, doctors planned to give him two half-hour sessions of chemotherapy, which Boyd called a "heavy dose."

"Your immune system goes down to nothing," Boyd said. "You're isolated for five or six days."

Doctors encouraged Boyd to eat more to regain weight. He has lost 42 pounds since the diagnosis.

The stem cell transplant will hopefully extend his life five to seven years, said Boyd, who maintains a positive attitude.

"I think [having cancer] has made me closer with friends and my wife," Boyd said. "[Friends are] calling me asking if they can do anything."

Boyd completed his one-year mayoral term Tuesday.

His council colleagues praised his dedication to his role as a public official.

"You were an exemplary example of how to do things," said Bob Whalen, whom Boyd nominated to mayor pro tem and who is wrapping up his first year on the council. "You were always there to help, and I learned a lot from you on how to run and conduct a meeting."

Elizabeth Pearson, whom Boyd nominated to be mayor, added her appreciation.

"I thank Kelly Boyd for your service," Pearson said.

Boyd estimates that he will return to Laguna Beach in early January but doctors will determine when he's OK to leave the hospital

"It depends on how quickly I recover," Boyd said. "It's not my call."

As for whether he will run for reelection to the council next year, Boyd said: "I have not made a decision yet. I have plenty of time to make a decision."

When it comes to facing cancer, Boyd said he doesn't look too far ahead.

"I want to go day-to-day to beat this thing," he said. "So far, it's worked."