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Is Multiple Myeloma considered "chronic"?

colesgrands
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2005

My husband has IgG Multiple Myeloma and is approximately 18 months into his treatment with Thalomid and Decadron plus Zometa. He is fairly worn out most of the time and having to have lens implants due to what the Decadron did to his eyes. We recently had a discussion with his oncologist on his treatment plan when the oncologist stated that because Multiple Myeloma is now considered "chronic" in the medical community, he would prefer to treat my husband with the different meds available until something better comes along (Revlimid?)! All that was fine with us however we both were surprised at his casual use of the word "chronic" as everything we read does not indicate "chronic" for the majority of the patients with this cancer. I do know they are putting many cancers into a truly "chronic" state but cannot find anything published to back up this statement. Is there anyone out there who can help us out on this search for written evidence of MM being "chronic"? We are interested in a auto stem cell but our oncologist seems to feel otherwise. My husband has come from 6000 IgG to 2000....he actually went lower....the doctor lessened the meds....he immediately bounced back up to 2400! We are feeling somewhat confused! Thanks for input!

blondegardener123
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

But how old r u Crowell and what stage were you in when u found out u had MM, and was urs aggressive?

vj50
Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2003

I belong to an MM listserve (a type of online bulliten board) and most of us on there prefer to consider MM a chronic disease. For many people it can be controlled for a long time either by having a transplant or taking certain drugs, the same as "regular" chronic diseases. As far as having a transplant, many people (including myself) have done well on just drugs alone, but it should be your choice. Even if you like your doctor. if he does not want to listen to your thoughts on the subject, it might be worth it to get a second opinion (preferably from a hemotologist/oncologist or MM specialist).

cedarcraw
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2010

Is Multiple myeloma really called chronic dsease? I was diagnosed with It 2 months ago. They are giving me velcade with something else. I am not doing very good with the side effects. Very tired all the time and have even gotten the shingles. I have had 10 chemos done at this time. They say everything is pretty much like it should be from my blood test. How long do I have to do this chemo before I see things getting better or in remission? I am not doing very good emtionally. I am alone all the time and only have my husband and he still works everyday and even on the week ends. I have no family here. I am 66 years old woman. Do you have any suggestions? What is the survial rate?

blondegardener123
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi cedar. Sorry to hear you had/have the shingles. My hubby, age 66, has MM, did the Velcade with Decadron, did not get shingles, but the V & D did not work. Exactly what combo of Velcade did u have? How is shingles now and how long has it lasted? I had shingles years ago and it is painful. Meanwhile hubby lost part of a chromasome during that Velcade and then the disease turned aggressive and now has 100% MM in bone marrow. He was supposed to get stem cell transplant via autologous method in Jan but instead he was admitted to hosp 3 weeks ago as emergency because his creatnine was so high. While there he was given a new chemo called Epoch and his kidney responded well to it and Creatnine dropped to 2.5. But his platelets are now too low to get second treatment of Epoch that was scheduled for next Thursday. So now stem cell transplant is set back to April. Are you a candidtate for stem cell transplant? We are both home. We both got laid off from our jobs in June and hubby found out he had MM in September, just when he signed up for medicare. Luckily, I am home for now to help hubby , but when my COBRA medical insurance runs out I have to go back to work. That must be hard on you being alone, but hang in there. MM is treatable. Google MM to find survival rate in the country. You can also find the survival rate out from your doctor. By law he has to tell you - my bother-in-law is an attorney. But you can find out the survival rate for your cancer center from this website. Good Luck and take care.

cedarcraw
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2010

vj50---You say you have done well on just drugs. That is good to hear because I am not a canadate for a tramsplant. Is yours in remission and for how long?

blondegardener123
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

Colesgrands: What is IgG MM because my husband's dr just mentioned the IgG level. If you mean "chronic" as always there and never goes away, and continuously has to be watched the rest of your life, MM is chronic. But it can go into remission. My husband's oncologist is in favor of auto stem cell transplant, and my husband is now going to a cancer institute that is in favor of it for him. He had Velcade and Decadron, was supposed to get Zometa, but by accident he didn't get it. He had no side effects from this combo except that the MM became aggressive because he lost part of a chromasome. His creatnine level went sky high, was given Epoch, and it dropped in a week's time. Hopefully, he will have the autologous stem cell transplant in April.

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