Multiple Myeloma Stories | Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

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 Multiple Myeloma Stories
Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells. Multiple myeloma occurs when plasma cells become cancerous and grow out of control. Normal plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and are an important part of the immune system.

Multiple myeloma is a relatively uncommon cancer. In the United States, the lifetime risk of getting multiple myeloma is 1 in 132 or 0.76%. (American Cancer Society)

Explore below for in-depth multiple myeloma stories from our community members who share everything from first symptoms to navigating life with cancer.


Active Myeloma

Multiple Myeloma |Clay’s Story

Clay Drake, Multiple Myeloma



Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma
Cancer Details:
Early stage multiple myeloma usually causes vague symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose
1st Symptoms:
Persistent kidney issues, nausea
Treatment:
chemo, radiation, stem cell transplant
Multiple Myeloma, Light Chain | Carlos’ Story

Carlos Colarte, Light Chain Multiple Myeloma



Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma, light chain
Cancer Details:
Early stage multiple myeloma usually causes vague symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose
1st Symptoms:
Back pain and spasms
Treatment:
Back surgery to fuse T1 and T2, chemotherapy (RVD) and stem cell transplant
Multiple Myeloma, Stage 3 | Jude’s Story

Jude Abella, Multiple Myeloma, Stage 3



Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma, stage 3
Cancer Details:
Early stage multiple myeloma usually causes vague symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose
1st Symptoms:
Pain in back, hips and ribs; difficulty walking
Treatment:
Bilateral femoral osteotomy, reversal due to infection; chemotherapy
Multiple Myeloma, Stage 3 | Melissa’s Story

Melissa Vaughan, Multiple Myeloma, Stage 3



Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma, stage 3
Cancer Details:
Early stage multiple myeloma usually causes vague symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose
1st Symptoms:
Frequent infections
Treatment:
IVF treatment & Chemotherapy (RVD) for 7 rounds
Multiple Myeloma: IgG Lambda, Stage 3 |  Scott’s Story

Scott Christiansen, Multiple Myeloma, IgG Lambda, Stage 3



Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma, IgG lambda
Cancer Details:
Early stage multiple myeloma usually causes vague symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose
1st Symptoms:
Pain in hips and ribs, night sweats, weight loss, nausea
Treatment:
Clinical trial, chemo, kyphoplasty, stem cell transplant

Smoldering Myeloma

Multiple Myeloma, Smoldering Myeloma | Maui’s Story

Maui Bigelow, Smoldering Myeloma



Diagnosis: Smoldering myeloma
Cancer Details:
Smoldering myeloma is pre-symptomatic or pre-treatment multiple myeloma
1st Symptoms:
Inflammatory eye disease, uterine bleeding
Treatment:
N/A

Ask A Myeloma Specialist Oncologist

Blood Cancer Oncologist / Hematologist (Leukemia, Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma) | Dr. Babis Andreadis

Dr. Babis Andreadis, Blood Cancer Specialist



Oncologist: Specializing in blood cancers like lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma
Experience: 20+ years
Hospital/clinic size: Large teaching institution
Ask An Oncologist: Multiple Myeloma | Dr. James Berenson, M.D.

Dr. James Berenson, Multiple Myeloma Specialist



Oncologist: Specializing in myeloma and other blood and bone disorders
Experience: 35+ years
Hospital/clinic size: Large private practice
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Specialist | Dr. Barrientos

Dr. Jacqueline Barrientos, CLL Specialist



Oncologist: Specializing in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) | 17p Deletion (Ibrutinib, Acalabrutinib, Venetoclax), IgHV mutation
Experience: ~15 years
Hospital/clinic size: Large institution
Ask A Myeloma Specialist | Dr. Rafael Fonseca, M.D. | Basics, Clinical Trials, Selinexor, Darzalex

Dr. Rafael Fonseca, Myeloma Specialist



Hematologist: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of myeloma; defining sub-type distinctions | Clinical Trials, Selinexor, Darzalex
Experience: 25+ years
Hospital/clinic size: Large institution
Ask A Multiple Myeloma Hematologist-Oncologist: MGUS, Smolder Myeloma, Early Screening, Clinical Trials | Dr. Irene Ghobrial, M.D.

Dr. Irene Ghobrial, Blood Cancer Oncologist



Oncologist: Clinical investigator and professor of hematological oncology | MGUS, Smolder Myeloma, Early Screening, Clinical Trials
Experience: ~15 years
Hospital/clinic size: Large institution
Ask A CLL/SLL Specialist – CAR T, Acalabrutinib, Ibrutinib, Idelalisib, Venetoclax | Dr. Tim Fenske, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Tim Fenske, Leukemia & Lymphoma Specialist



Oncologist: Specializing in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) & other leukemia and lymphoma | CAR T, Acalabrutinib, Ibrutinib, Idelalisib, Venetoclax
Experience: ~15 years
Hospital/clinic size: Mid-sized institution