1950 / Class of 2001 / Type: IgA Lambda / Updated: 7/04
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, 2001, 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.
July, 2004: Remission from the BMT lasted 13 months. I've been on thalidomide for a little over a year. The thalidomide alone wasn't cutting it, so incorporated Dex for the past 6 months, which produced a reduction of my IgA. However, a week ago I stopped the medications because of neuropathy in the feet in lower legs. Will retest in August and see where we go from there. Meanwhile, I continue to work and travel. Two of our sons were activated by the military and served a year tour. Both are home now, so we have all three sons living in the area which is very nice.
Site © 2000-2015 Dean Gallea (in loving memory of June Brazil)