Gma's Journey with Multiple Myeloma

Patient: Multiple Myeloma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 12 years ago, Female, Age: 62

  1. 1
    • Gma
    • Experience with Multiple Myeloma
    about 5 years ago
    Gma's Avatar

    Misdiagnosed

    Oh No

    MM is such an insidious blood cancer and it is ofter misdiagnosed. I was diagnosed in Nov 2005, but actually had the very same symptoms in Oct of 2004. Probably misdiagnosed at that time. Was diagnosed with osteoporosis at that time. Looking back, had a serum electrphoresis lab been performed, it probably would have confirmed my diagnosis then. However, we can't look back. We have to move forward with all the blessings God has given us and be so grateful for what we have and that we are still here on this journey.

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  2. 2
    • Gma
    • Experience with Multiple Myeloma
    almost 5 years ago
    Gma's Avatar

    I had vertebral plasty in feb 2006 for a compression fracture in my lower back.

    Procedure or Surgery

    In Dec of 2005, I reached down to lift a large container of detergent. I immediately felt back pain. It was excruciating. I later found out that I had a compression fracture. This was repaired in Feb 2006 at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas. I have had no further problems with it since.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • Gma
    • Experience with Multiple Myeloma
    almost 5 years ago
    Gma's Avatar

    Nausea medicine

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    My initial treatment was Thalidomide and Dexamethasone. One month after diagnosis, I went to MDA, and Velcade, Lovenox, and Prilosec were added.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  4. 4
    • Gma
    • Experience with Multiple Myeloma
    almost 5 years ago
    Gma's Avatar

    TBI

    Radiation

    Prior to my allogeneic transplant, I had total body irradiation. I didn't take chemo with this transplant since I had it with the autologus transplant in May.

    Painless Experience: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  5. 5
    • Gma
    • Experience with Multiple Myeloma
    almost 5 years ago
    Gma's Avatar

    Back to back transplants

    Clinical Trial

    I was in a trial to see the results of remission with 2 transplants vs 1. You could either have autologus stem cell transplants back to back, or if you had a matched sibling and the insurance approved, you could have an auto followed by an allo stem cell transplant. I had an auto with my own cells in My of 2006. Initially, I didn't make stem cells, so I went through a process of chemo induced stem cells. I received 3 types of chemo around the clock for 3 days to induce stem cell production. It was at this time that I started to lose my hair. The day before my 1st transplant, I was given Mephalan and I also went to the hair dresser and had the rest of my hair shaved off. It was so thin and falling out so badly. I didn't think that it would bother me to lose my hair, but it was a sad moment. I told myself over and over that it was a small price to pay to be alive and it truly was. But, you do have to get used to seeing yourself with no hair. My counts dropped and I had to have some transfusions with the 1st transplant. There was also a lot of nausea. The nausea was the worse. With the 2nd transplant, the nausea was pretty bad too. But, I am so blessed to have a sister that matched me and was willing to be my donor. God has blessed me. Sometimes, I look back and it is hard to remember it being so bad, but I know that it was. No appetite, no taste, etc. But it is so worth it all to be alive and making memories with my family and friends. I thank God for His blessings on my life. He is the source of my strength and He is the reason that I am here.

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  6. 6
    • Gma
    • Experience with Multiple Myeloma
    almost 5 years ago
    Gma's Avatar

    Birthday

    Celebration

    After you have a transplant from a donor, they tell you that you have a new birthday. So, my new birthday was August 23, 2006. Each year on that day, my husband gives me a birthday card appropriate for the year. This year I received a Happy 6th birthday. In reality, I will be 58 Nov 18. November 17 will mark 7 years since diagnosis.

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  7. 7
    • Gma
    • Experience with Multiple Myeloma
    almost 5 years ago
    Gma's Avatar

    My mind/Sense of Humor

    Loss

    I didn't really lose my mind or sense of humor, but there is no way that you can ever be diagnosed with cancer and not lose something. I think I lost the innocence of believing that I would live to be forever. I remember telling my husband that when I got to be 80 that I would eat anything that I wanted and not worry about weight. Up until something like this happens, you don't really face your your immortality. We never think that something like this will happen to us, and when it does, it hits like a ton of bricks. But there are good things. You realize what is really important in life and you get your priorities straight. Not to say that we don't still make mistakes, but it is different. I think we look at the world a little more jaded. Where we never used to think of cancer, now if someone has something wrong, our mind automatically looks at cancer. We question things that we never did before. That being said, I am still very grateful for where I am and what I have. Someone once told me that God was the final authority, and that is so true.

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