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Ron L'Italien


New Hampshire;

1967 / Class of '04 / Type: IgG, smoldering MM / Zometa / Updated: 8/10

Here is the short version of my being DX with Multiple Myeloma.

My wife Dawn had been urging me to go get a check up at the Dr, since I hadn't been to see a Dr. in a while. So, after several months of Dawn urging me to get a check up, I made an appointment to see a Dr. The Dr. did a complete physical and ran blood work, then called me back a couple of days later and asked for me to get the blood work done again. The day of my follow up appointment, I showed up at the Dr's office and Dawn walks in the office in her work attire. I was surprised she was there for what I thought was simple results of the blood work. Dawn told me the Dr. called her at work and asked that Dawn be with me at this appointment. When Dawn told me this, I knew it had to be something bad!

When the Dr. called us in and dropped the Cancer word on us we where shocked. Neither one of us had heard of Multiple Myeloma before. So, there my wife sat crying, hearing her husband, at the age of 37, has incurable cancer. I was in shock and felt worse for Dawn because she was crying. So, at age 37 we where told I have incurable cancer and that my kidneys were only functioning at 50%. I had no real symptoms, but had a lot of back aches, thought that was from lifting weights.

We live close to Boston, Mass so decided to go to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, where we met Dr. Richardson, MM specialist. He told us that I have Smoldering Multiple Myeloma, 10% plasma cells in bone marrow biopsy, IgG 2379 M spike 2.2. He suggested I start Aredia or Zometa infusions, since it seems these infusions have an anti Myeloma effect in some patients. Zometa is the infusion I decided to go with because of the time of infusion is 15 minutes, compared to 3-4 hours with Aredia. Although Multiple Myeloma is incurable at this time, there are several treatments out there to extend our lives. By the Grace of God, Zometa has kept this beast at bay for about 2 years for us.

I still work full time, although I take more time off than I used to because of fatigue, pain, and sometimes the emotional affects of having a DX of cancer. Being told one has cancer is like being hit with a baseball bat, because your life and the life of your loved ones is permanently changed. All the Dr. visits, the tests, waiting for the results of blood work. Today, 2-16-06, my wife and I got some good news before the Zometa infusion, The IgG has fallen to 2184! It hasn't been below 2379 for 2 years, it actually had been as high as 2650. Needless to say, we were very happy. We are hoping that if I continue to respond so well to this infusion, maybe I will live long enough to see a cure for this awful cancer.

One of the biggest ingredients needed to face cancer is a great support system, that is something I have been blessed with. My family is there if I need them. My wife Dawn... what can I say, she has been my everything... she is there when I am sad she is there when I am scared, she is there to celebrate good news. I want to live for her, she is my best friend. Please feel free to email me if you have questions or concerns, I will share our battle with MM with you.

September, 2008: Last 2 years with MM has been more the same, infusions of Zometa seem to be keeping the beast at bay for the most part. Lots of back pain... But still alive! Currently battling double pneumonia... not a surprise, MM lowers your immune system so we are more vulnerable to infections. MM has really positively changed the way that I view life, I don't sweat the little things like I used to. Having a good support system is half the battle... my wife Dawn continues to always be there!! She is a Godsend. Thanks and may God bless you in your MM journey!

August 2010: A lot has happened since my last update, Had a few episodes of pneumonia. Wow, pneumonia is no joke... Knocked me on my duppa for over a month. The MM continues to be manageable with infusions of Zometa. My protein counts bounce up and down, but haven't flown off the charts. My wife Dawn continues to be my support system, what did I do to deserve her? I continue this battle with's a battle of wills right now. Dana Farber Cancer Inst in Boston Mass deserves a mention here, their team has been outstanding... thank you Dr. Richardson.


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