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Robert Divola


Malden, MA   

1929 / Class of '94 / bone involvement, history of auto-immune disease / Died: 11/97

Age 65; grew up in city.

Medical history Prior to MM: 1991- rheumatoid arthritis; 1993 - asbestosis, lower lobe left lung. Also Methotrexate induced pneumonitis; I was taking for arthritis.

I first noticed lower back pain and left leg pain in Nov. 1994 when I was moving a dolly of material at work. The doctor sent me for therapy. It did not help. An MRI showed a large mass on the L2 vertebrae. It turned out to be a Plasmacytoma. There was no evidence of malignancy elsewhere. The tumor and vertebrae were removed and they reconstructed my spine. I received radiation treatment for 25 Fractions (sessions).

In Sept, 1995 I had pain in my right leg which caused me to use crutches at home. I felt a snap in my left shoulder. We went to the emergency room at Lahey Clinic, x-rays were taken and a tumor was found in left clavicle and right distal femur, and multiple lesions in my skull. I was diagnosed with MM. They stabilized my femur with a plate. I received radiation to clavicle and femur, but not to my skull. In Oct. 1995 I started chemo. Prednisone 150 mgs daily for 4 days, Melphalan 16 mgs daily for 4 days and Percoset for pain 2 every 4 hours. Also once a month for 4 hours I receive an Aredia (pamidronate) IV, this is a bone resorption inhibitor.

After one year I still had lumps in my head. I was put on a different chemo. In Oct. 1996 we went to Decadron 40 mg daily for 4 days, once a month, also was put on a pump with Adriamycin and Vincristine for 4 days once a month. After 4 months of treatment the lumps disappeared we stopped the chemo. I still continue the Aredia (pamidronate) once a month and Percocet for pain. 


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