Patient Comments: Multiple Myeloma - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your multiple myeloma?

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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Comment from: MM fighter, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 30

About 4 years ago I developed a small depression in my scalp. During a routine visit to my internist, I mentioned this to him. After some deliberation we agreed that I should have a skull x-Ray. The x-ray suggested MM (multiple myeloma). That was followed by a bone scan and a bone marrow test, which confirmed MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance). In a year it had progressed to smoldering MM, and then to full-blown MM after another year. I've been treated with Revlimid and dexamethasone, which caused blood clots in both lungs; then with Velcade and dexamethasone which caused extremely painful neuropathy in my legs and hands. Now I'm being treated with Alkeran and prednisone. I'm on my 11th cycle and doing well. Aside from anemia and fatigue, my only problems have been caused by treatments and the medication. I'm very lucky.

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Comment from: MSB, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 24

My father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in October of 2012. He had previously gone to the doctor numerous times about a pain he had in his left shoulder blade. It actually began to hurt about 7 years ago. The doctors said all was ok over and over again. In October he became very fatigued and was starting to have severe pain. Once again we went to the doctor and they said all blood and urine analyses were normal. As he continued to get worse we finally decided that hospital was where he needed to be. That is when they found too much calcium in his urine which gave them reason to run further testing. The diagnosis was multiple myeloma. My father passed away in May of this year despite chemotherapy and radiation treatments. They had found a tumor in his back and did emergency surgery and removed it. He remained in the hospital and 2 weeks later the tumor had returned to be the same size as it was before surgery. They decided to re-do the surgery and my father never recovered, he passed away a few days later.

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Patient Comments

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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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