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Dorothy Russell


  Beverly Hills, FL;

1926 / Class of '95 (MGUS '85) / Type: IgG / MGUS prog. to MM over 10 years / Updated: 1/09

Dorothy and John Russell (80 and 79 yrs young), Multiple Myeloma Survivor and caregiver.

Her story as of June 6, 2004: I was originally diagnosed with MGUS in 1985. I had been experiencing fainting spells and my GP ran a variety of blood tests, then referred me to an oncologist because of my "high" protein.

In Nov. 1995 the IgG increased from 2700 to 5400 and after a bone marrow extraction and a full body scan, I was diagnosed with MM Stage 1. No lesions.. Conventional M & P therapy regime was commenced in Nov 95--interrupted in Jan 96 for a gall bladder removal, overnight hospitalization and continuing from February to Aug 1996.

Reached my plateau and am now enjoying life without chemo! Have Aredia every 6 weeks and really feel it helps.

I visited Dr. Ballester, at the HC Moffit Cancer Center, on the University of South Florida in Tampa FL, on June 18, 1996 and he advised that I was doing well; I had the "good Myeloma" that they called "Indolent MM". The treatment I had received by my local Oncologist was confirmed. He said, by Christmas I should be in remission and 4 or 5 years until my first relapse. He was right about the remission and I declare him right about the years before relapse! Plateau continued until June 2003 then had 7 Velcade Treatments. Stopped Velcade cycles due to fatigue and PHN. Lowest IgG 1100 -- IgG slowly rising. In "Wait and See Mode".

June 2004: I am still at "plateau" still with Aredia every 6 weeks. My counts are fine! I am doing very well. I feel good!

June 2006: After 7 treatments of Velcade I am again back in the "wait and see mode". I suffer quite badly still from PHN resultant of a Velcade side affect of "Shingles" across my back. I use a Lidoderm Patch daily consisting of a 700MG (50 MG per gram adhesive) of 5% Lidocaine. Also I alternate as I feel better with an application of Pain Buster (an over the counter external analgesic available at drug stores) recommended for arthritis and bursitis, rheumatism, and muscular aches.) At 80+we both use it for normal pains!

January, 2009: Still in remission. See Oncologist every 90 days for blood tests and checkup. Still in "Wait and See" mode. IgG slowly increasing but not too far from normal (1500).Have anemia problem, feel tired, but guess normal for 83 year young MM patient. PHN getting worse--spreading from just back to under right arm. Same treatment as above.


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