1945 / Class of '94 / Type: IgA, light chain / Last Update: 11/01
I would consider myself a poster child for having a physical every year. My
MM was picked up on a physical. My sediment rate was high and I was anemic for
the second year in a row. I went to an Oncologist at M.D. Anderson (Orlando) and
was confirmed with MM after a Bone Marrow Biopsy. My IgA count was about 4000. I
can remember sitting in the Drs. office and thinking "what in the world is
he talking about".
I grew up in a small town in South Florida. While in the Oncologist's office,
I mentioned that as a young man I had been in the Marines and served two tours
in Vietnam. His comment was "Agent Orange", and suggested I contact
the VA immediately. I was started on Alkeran and Dexamethasone for four days
once a month. I did this for a year and it brought my IgA counts down to 800. I
was then started on Interferon A, 3 million units, 3 times per week.
At the end of three years my IgA had slowly risen to about 2400. At that time
I was referred to M.D. Anderson (Houston) for a consult with Dr. Alexanian for a
possible Stem Cell Transplant. He felt, at that time I should try Thalidomide
200 mg, daily and pulse with 40 mg. Decadron every other week. After a year my
IgA count went down to 600. I was on this protocol for about two years. Also,
for the past two years I have been receiving Aredia 90mg on a monthly basis.
In April of this year I had an autologous Stem Cell Transplant in Houston.
The transplant was considered a success. I was told that I was in
remission. The only physical symptoms that I have are several lytic
lesions in my ribs.
A personal note is that I had always been a future-oriented person. That
future orientation drove me crazy when first diagnosed. I had to become more