Tony Juliana's Myeloma Story

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1982 Diagnosed with high blood pressure (BP). Was put on BP medication at that time. Didn't like the side effects, so I decided to cut down on caffeine (no coffee, Coke, etc.) and to start exercising more. Started by walking 3 miles 5 times a week, then running 3 miles 5 times a week then up and down hills. This worked real well at keeping my BP down, until 1994, when I noticed I was getting a little tired, when I ran, and that my BP was coming up to the unsafe level again after 12 years. Also my ankles were hurting more and for longer periods of time after running or exercising, I had also developed some minor pain around my pelvis. So I decided it was time to get another physical.

11/94 Physical, X-rays, EKG, blood test, urine test. BP was high enough to require BP medication again. (BP medication is another story) But everything else looked good.

Blood test results          Normal Range

Hemoglobin    13.7           13.0 - 17.0

Hematocrit    40.8%         39.0% - 50.0%

Platelet      382K/uL         140 - 450

WBC           5.4K/uL         4.2 - 11.8

Sodium        138mEq/L        133 - 145

Potassium     4.6mEq/L        3.5 - 5.5

Creatinine    1.1mg/dL        < 1.5

Cholesterol   196MG/DL          1 - 240


Protein       NEGATIVE
Everything normal we thought.

July 95,(Eight months after last physical) I developed a cough right after the 4th, though it was a cold or something that I gotten from the grandkids.

August 95, Still had the cough, and it was getting worse, stopped at a medical center, while on vacation. Doctor I saw though I had Bronchitis and prescribed an antibiotic (Erythromycin) took for 10 days with no effect. Went into see my regular GP when we got home, she prescribed another antibiotic, Amoxicilln for a sinus infection (no help).

September 95, Tested for TB, (skin test and X-rays) Lyme disease (I had a tick bite the year before that left a target for a few weeks) (negative) Then to see an Ear, Nose, & Throat specialist. At this point I had lost 55% of my hearing in my left ear. He checked my ears and couldn't find any reason for my hearing loss. He also checked my throat for cancer (negative). Another antibiotic (Charithromycin), CT scan of my head to check my sinus . By this time I was starting to get a mild fever and chills during the day, and some mild night sweats.

October 95, Maybe I had allergy's, Beconase and Azmacort were prescribed, No help.

November 95, An even stronger antibiotic (Augmentin) was prescribed, this one made me real sick, stopped taking it !!. Went back to the doctor more tests (AIDS, thyroid, etc.).

December 95, Finally a blood test, 1 year after my last. By this time I've lost 18 pounds, and the chills and fevers are getting to the point that I had to have an extra heater in my office at work to stay warm.


Hemoglobin       10.6g/dL        Low

WBC               6.2K/ul        OK
All hell broke loose from this point on. GP called a Hematologist/Oncologist right away, he suggested some blood tests (Westergren ESR, and Gamma Globulin), he nailed it first try. In the meantime my GP gave me a complete physical. X-rays, prostate cancer test, etc.. Blood test came back
                   Reading          Normal Range

Westergren ESR     123mm/Hr            0 - 20

Gamma Globulin     4.8g/dL            .4 - 1.5

IgA                24                 40 - 375

IgG                6400              600 - 1500

IgM                11                 30 - 190
January 96, Now lots of tests, CT scan of abdomen, complete body X-rays, more blood tests, urine test, bone marrow biopsy. Radiologist report and BMB came back positive for MM.

By now I'm feeling pretty bad, and was ready for anything. Chemo was recommended, and I took it. Would I change anything ? maybe

On Jan. 19 1996 at age 52 I was diagnosed with IgG (6400) type, MM, stage 2A, Gamma Globulins (GG) 5.0, no lesions or tumors on X-rays, Creatinine (normal range), Calcium (normal range), Hemoglobin 9.8(low), Bone Marrow Biopsy (BMB) 30% to 40% plasma cells (high) B2M 4.5. I had eleven chemo treatments alternating (VMCP / VCAP), every three weeks, with 90 mg Aredia the last five chemo treatments. I continue to receive 90 mg of Aredia every 2 to 3 weeks in one liter of .9% sodium chloride, over 2.5 hours. 

Radiologist Report 1/18/96

Formarms, humeri, femurs, tibias, skill, bony pelvis, lumbar spine, and chest are all within normal limits. Cervical spine, the permeative and demineralized appearance of the C3 through C5 vertebral bodies seen which could represent myeloma involvement here. In the thoracic spine, compression fractures are noted but the lower thoracic vertebral bodies appear quite demineralized which also is a suspicious finding.

Bone Marrow Report 1/19/96 "Sections from the bone marrow biopsy show approximate cellularity of 70%. All three hematopoietic cell line are represented. There is interstitial infiltrate of plasma cells of approximately 30% to 40%. Plasma cells are seen diffusely in the interstitium and in small aggregates. Plasma cells are generally small with only occasional larger forms.

Review of the marrow, clot and marrow aspirate shows similar findings of intense plasma cytosis.

Immunhistochemical studies demonstrate monoclonal lambda light chain restriction of the plasma cells in keeping with Multiple Myeloma.

If clinical findings are consistent with multiple myeloma, the histologic and immunohisttochemical studies support multiple myeloma"

Complete notes from 1996  Chemo until Aug.
Complete notes from 1997  Started the year a little tried, but got a lot stonger as the year went on.
Complete notes from 1998  This was a very good year with a few minor problems.
Complete notes from 1999  The beast seems to be coming back slowly.

Note: It's now 4/10/01 and I'm doing fine, hope to fine some time to bring my story up to date.

Blood Tests Results

ChartObject Hemoglobin

ChartObject Gamma Globulin

ChartObject B2M

ChartObject IgA

ChartObject IgG

ChartObject IGM
Last Updated on 07/08/01

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