Oct 15, 2010 - 4:42 pm
My husband was diagnosed in April 2010 with Stage 3 light-chain multiple myeloma after several months of debilitating back and rib pain. He was seeing pain specialists, had kyphoplasty and was getting treatment for "spongy" muscles. He kept going downhill and finally went back to our family doctor who ran a lot of tests. This doctor found an elevated calcium level and sent him to a hematologist/oncologist who diagnosed the light chain myeloma. While it was devastating news, my husband was relieved that the pain wasn't all in his head. The hematologist decided to wait a while to treat him but in June my husband started acting confused and disorientated. I took him in to the doctor who drew blood and determined his calcium level was dangerously elevated and he was in danger of renal failure. After a week in the hospital, the family decided he needed Rehab and he spent the next two months in a nursing home. He was being fed a LOT of pain meds and went into respiratory distress in July. He was given Ativan in ER and went into a coma. We thought we were going to lose him but he finally woke up the next day. They backed him off of the pain meds some and he came home in August. Once he came home, I wasn't sure that he actually was ready but he has progressively gotten stronger.
His bone scan showed he has multiple fractures in his rib cage along with two fractured vertebrae. We have talked about getting kyphoplasty on his vertebrae but we are afraid for him to be upside down and possibly break more ribs. The Zometa he is given once a month seems to have leveled off his bone loss and the pain is minimal now. His oncologist is giving him Velcade, malphalan and prednisone. Since he is Stage 3 and 70 years old, there is no hope of a stem cell transplant.
I work full time and do my best to take care of him, the house, the finances, etc. But it is taking it's toll on me and I fear getting burned out. People offer to help out but when it comes down to it, they really don't. I feel like they just say it to be nice.
I just found a myeloma support group in my area and hope to attend my first meeting at the end of this month. I look forward to meeting other people in our situation.
Anyway, I wanted to share my husband's story and look forward to your comments.