Patient Comments: Multiple Myeloma - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your multiple myeloma?

Comment from: SWEET SUE, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 15

My RFT (renal function test) anion gap is low. My right sole skin is cracked and peeled every 2 to 3 weeks once. My both knees x-ray shows osteoarthritis changes. My Pap smear showed atypical changes. I have constant fatigue.

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Comment from: Emily, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 11

Summer 2010, my symptoms of multiple myeloma were, 'electric charges' shooting down both legs when reclining and weird lower back pain upon sitting. Most of the summer, I could not sit down. I worked full/overtime, doing everything standing up. I did not feel fatigued. All of my blood work was normal. I did not have a urine test, however. I visited my physician's assistant several times and got medications for back pain and muscle relaxers. She finally did do an MRI of lower back in October, which was misread as normal by the radiologist. Being a healthy person, I insisted on seeing a back specialist, took my MRI with me and he insisted I have MRI of full spine (because he felt the MRI was suspicious), which revealed a tumor had totally eroded my T-9 (upper back) vertebra and was pressing on my spinal cord, causing all of my symptoms. Honestly, I thought I was going nuts. Later on, total body x-rays revealed every bone in my body was 'moth-eaten' by tumors. It is now summer 2014. I've had radiation 26 times, chemotherapy (Velcade, dexamethasone, Revlimid), for three months, stem cell transplant in 2011 (with melphalan), and treatment with Zometa to rebuild bones (and they look good now). I am currently on maintenance Revlimid and doing well.

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Comment from: Jcbajones, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 21

Mom was having pain in her side and weakness in November 2013. She developed an upper respiratory infection in December and went to her doctor. After performing routine tests he decided she needed to see a heart specialist and he scheduled her an appointment for January 2, 2014. On January 1st she started having chest pain. I took her to hospital where it was determined she was having a heart attack. They stabilized her and started performing tests. It was determined she had RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and multiple tumors in her abdominal area. She was transported to a hospital in Atlanta where it was determined she had advanced multiple myeloma. She passed away on January 21, 2014 after a very painful journey that included having to undergo a tracheotomy and just 20 days after being admitted to the hospital.

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Comment from: Worried mom, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 13

My daughter had just turned 28 and discovered she was 4 months pregnant with her 2nd child. She had one cold after another and her breathing and coughing were getting worse. She finally went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with pneumonia and severe anemia. She needed 8 units of blood. A bone marrow biopsy the following day revealed stage 3 multiple myeloma (MM). She continued the pregnancy on dexamethasone and delivered prematurely at 33 weeks. She is getting ready to start high-dose chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant.

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Comment from: Nanc, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I had trained for the Seattle marathon and in the morning of I couldn't get out of bed! The pain in both of my legs was so bad. Then I started cramping. The following Monday I made an appointment with my doctor who ran some tests then sent me to the lab (I thought) when the elevator door opened it said Cancer Research! I went back up to my doctor and he said, “I think you have multiple myeloma,” which he explained briefly. I was in shock! This was in 2002, that I tested positive, my blood work showed the abnormal protein. I went through a non-conventional treatment at a clinic and every year have my blood work checked and in November 2013 it showed a spike. So I went back to see this doctor who ran tests and said I was not at phase 1, but ordered a series of shots for me. I asked him what do I do if this doesn't work and he said then it is time for traditional treatment. My symptoms at this time was pain in my legs at night and restless legs. I will keep having my blood worked checked and if it spikes I will seek traditional treatment. I have had many good years free of symptoms, but am always aware that I still have it.

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Multiple Myeloma - Prognosis Question: What is the prognosis for your multiple myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma - Diagnosis Question: Describe the tests and exams that led to a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.
Multiple Myeloma - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment have you, a friend, or loved one received for multiple myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma - Follow-up care Question: What type of follow-up care do you or a relative receive for multiple myeloma?

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