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Father diagnosed with MM

cpb
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

My father is 67 years old and has just been diagnosed with MM. Even at 67 he could outwork most people but he started having some problems.

He started getting short of breath in Oct 02. A tread mill test was done to check his heart followed by a heart cath. No blockages were found only a small restriction. He was given some blood pressure medication and his heart was in good shape.

In December 02 he was going out of business and moving some tool boxes and seperated his shoulder and pulled some ribs from his sternum. He also later discovered he had a cracked rib. After 2 - 3 weeks of pain medication his lower back started hurting so bad he could not lay down and was in a tremendous amount of pain. He decided to go to a chiropracter and got some relief for the back. He then started feeling weak and in late Feb 03 came down with pneumonia. He recovered from the pneumonia but continuied to get weaker.

He went to his family doctor who did some blood work and said he needed to go to hospital the next day.

My father went in on Tuesday and they ran several test on his blood. He was given two units of blood. His hemigloben and oxygen were low and they put him on oxygen.

This improved his strength slightly but it was hard for him to get out of the bed and he seemed to be confused at times and in pain. Sometimes he did not know where he was and other times he would be fine but just weak and hurting. They ran more test and gave him another unit of blood.

They continued to run more test and on Thursday did a full body X-ray and took a bone marrow sample from his hip bone. They said his bone was very soft.

On Friday they diagnosed him with MM, refered him to a specialist and sent him home. When he left the hospital he could walk using a walker but was in pain.

He is now so weak he cannot get out of the chair by himself. He is in a lot of pain when he sits and when he tries to walk. Most of the time he falls asleep and wakes up a couple of minutes later slighly confused.

We are waiting for our appointment to see the specialist. From what I can read on the internet the specialist will determine what stage he is at and what course of treatment to take.

From your own experiences can some of you give me an opinion of what stage he may be at or describe what stage you where at and the symptoms you experienced at that stage?

Even though he is in pain he has a very good outlook and is relying on his faith in God to be healed of this. He is a fighter and will make it through this thing.

kdilday
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

Hi cpb,

Today is my first visit to this website. My father was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in July of 1998 at 58 years old. He just passed away on February 20, 2003. I have been down your path. My dad was also my best friend.

When he was first diagnosed I had never even heard of Myeloma. I was sad, angry, confused, you name it. Similar to your dad, my dad was still very active and had been in good health all of his life, but he had complained of a general pain for about a year and the doctors could find nothing. To make a long story short, his kidneys finally shut down and that is when they found out about the myeloma. We were initially given a grim prognosis of only about 6 months to live. Dad was a true fighter and a man of strong faith in God- he lived for almost 5 years and was able to see me get married while standing up with me as my best man, and see the birth of his first grandchild last April. Rather than viewing the past 5 years as a diminished life span, we all chose to view it as God giving us a chance to spend more time together and live a wonderful 5 years.

From what I know about the stages, my dad's was the most advanced because his internal organs had already started to shut down.

I don't know if I have been of any help, and I hope you don't mind hearing from someone who has lost a loved one to this disease. Your words "fighter" and "faith in God" just reminded me so much of Dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Regards,

Kevin

cpb
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

I am sad to report that my father passed away. The good part is he has gone to be with the Lord and is no longer suffering. He passed away this past Friday. My fathers fight with cancer has been tough.

After his first visit to the hospital (when he was first diagnosed with stage 3 mm) we entered a cycle of being sick a week and being ok a couple of weeks followed by high fever and fighting off infections. Each trip to the hospital we took involved the same routine. Blood transfussions, antibiotics, potassium and fluids.

We started his first chemo treatment about 3 weeks ago and looking back know I wish we would have never done it. At the time it was the great hope to slow down the cancer but it just made my father weaker. He had realy bad sores in his mouth and tongue and could not eat. He took four days of continuous chemo at home with a pump. He started on a Thursday and finished on Monday. There were no visable side effect until Wednesday, two days latter. That is when the sores started. By Saturday he could not eat or swallow his pills. We noticed he kept trying to go to the bathroom and after 9 -10 tries he would go. On Sunday he only went 2 times and he started running a low grade fever. On Monday morning his temperature was 102 and the doctor told us to go to the ER. They put a catheter in and he filled up the bag. The urine was real dark (tea colored and was cloudy). That was the last time he was able to go to the bathroom. His kidneys were starting to shut down. We started the usual routine of blood transfussions, antibiotics, potassium and fluids.
They never could identify the bateria causing his infection and put him on the strongest anitbiotic they had. On Wednesday they said his body was shutting down and only had a couple of days to live. From Wednesday on he slept most of the time and occasionaly opened his eyes. He would recongize us but could not speak. His breathing was labored and deep and grew shallower and shorter until he finally stopped breathing Friday morning. He slept more in the last three days of his life than he had in the last three months.

During my fathers fight with cancer we were able to spent a lot of time together. We talked about so many things. Our great comfort is that his relationship with Christ was right and he is now in a better place.

During his second stay in the hospital he told me two things that have stuck with me; make every day count, and it is only what you do for the Lord that counts.

I want to thank each of you for your advice and prayers during this difficult time in our lives.

Thanks and may God bless each of you.

sylbates
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2004

Hello cpb. I just got reading your message, and really sorry to hear of your father passing. From reading your message, it seemed he has been fighting off this disease for a long time without knowing his correct condition. I'm sure if you had known early on, he would have received the proper medication. My dad now 74, his second year is still with mm. He too was complaining about his back pain, not major, but noticable pain, and this was in the year of winter of 2002. I took a look at his right side rib and back, and it was somewhat proding out. Really wierd, and not normal looking. I made an appt with the bone specialist, he did some x-ray, and said his bone did not look normal, and stated possible bone cancer, MM. Referred us to Internal Specialist, who did more test and confirmed he had MM. Went in for radiation 2/03, and couple of weeks later, had his first chemo. His abnormal protein level of 7800, had 2 cycle of Vinchristin, and Decadron, by summer of 2003, his protein level was down to 800, under 1000 was considered normal. He was scheduled to go for bone marrow transplant that Fall, but had a siezure in July, was in the hospital for a month, and his bm transplant, out of the question. His doctors were afraid he might have another siezure since the procedure given would be quite intense. Well, his protein cell started to escaluate, started to take Thalomid, no response, now on Velcade...and not sure of result. He's not in any pain, other than typical side effect symtoms, weakness, loss of appetite, etc. I know 2 people with this cancer and loss their lives due to improper care. One was told it was nothing and just go on living your life, now passed away. The other person just didn't get proper medication, and toward the end, like your father was in such great pain, he couldn't even let anyone hug him, or be near him. Now passed away. Again, I'm sorry for your father. I don't know what causes a person to have MM, if it's genetics, lack of eating certain food, etc...

vjean
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2003

My father was diagnosed with MM about 13 1/2 years ago. Since that time, he was been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is now Sept, 2003, and he celebrated his 90th birthday in July. Is in really bad shape, but most 90 year olds are--he really did well with the MM.

sylbates
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2004

Wow, your father almost 90!!! That means he was diagnosed with MM around his late 70's. Did he receive Bone Marrow Transplant? etc...?

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