1950 / Class of 2001 / Type: IgA Lambda / Last Update: 5/03
I am an otherwise healthy guy of 50. When I went in for a routine exam in
Jan. 2001, my protein level was high (over 4,400) and I was encouraged to see a
hematologist. The rest is history.
I was diagnosed with MM in May, went on chemo and my protein has been reduced
to 1,500, but MM is still active, as with most of you. They have recommended a
BMT. However, after all my homework, I'm not sure that is the best way to go and
am looking for alternatives. Seems with MM some treatments work for some, but
not for others. Very unique.
October, 2001: I'm still studying if a stem cell transplant is the way
to go. I have a second opinion appointment on Oct. 18, 2001. I'm not concerned
about the treatment symptoms, but rather long term affects, from what I've been
able to read on the net and library. Still my doctor and oncologist think
this is the way to go, since it was caught very early during a routine physical
in May and after 4 monthly chemo's the MM is in the 5 to 6% range, vs. 80% in
May, based on bone marrow aspiration in Sept.
With the best wife in the world, and 3 sons, I would like to make the right
decisions. After reading the telling life episodes on this website, I will add
an extra prayer for each of you. From a personal standpoint, thank you for
sharing your experiences.
January, 2002: Thanks to all that have sent me valuable information
and I would say in terms of sharing our health problems - companionship. My
recent oncologist visit shows my IG/A has risen slightly to 2100. I've spent
many months evaluating various treatments and a plan for attacking the MM.
Unfortunately, I've found there are no "sure cures" and it appears bio
genetics will ultimately become the answer, hopefully in short order. In the
interim, based on taking all the information in, I will most likely go through
an auto stem cell transplant in January, hoping to put this in remission until a
"cure" such as PS 341 or OPG can be proven to work. My family
continues to offer great support, and I wish all of you health and happiness
during this new year of 2002.
September, 2002: Accomplished the auto stem cell transplant beginning
in February. It was not as bad as I anticipated, however found the process is
very individualized and I was lucky. I've really appreciated all the
correspondence I've received from other MM patients and family members. On
August 20, 2002, I was diagnosed in remission. I've had great help from my
family and Dr's Neubauer and McGuirk with the KC Cancer Center - and of course
my favorite, S. Spencer who keeps me going all the time. My thoughts and prayers
to all in the same boat, as well as the many family members. I pray the new
therapies and clinical trials will find an answer for us all.
May, 2003: A BMB, after 13 months post auto stem cell, shows the IgA
to be 638. Have started thalidomide this week to see if it won't maintain. I
have found some side effects to the stem cell transplant. Nothing
insurmountable, but had a couple of bouts with cellulitis and inner ear nerve
damage, (that thankfully does not affect my hearing.) Now that Velcade has been
approved for MM, will most likely see about trying that, if the thalidomide
doesn't do the trick, or I find too many side effects with it. All in all, it's
been a good year. I continue to watch my grandchildren grow and was able to
attend my son's wedding this week.