Double Blood Cancer

I never thought of myself as an over-achiever, but as a cancer patient, I guess I am. I am fighting Multiple Myeloma and Therapy-Related Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

A total shock

My diagnosis of Myeloma came as a total shock at age 59. My annual blood work showed elevated Total Protein and that led to further testing and eventually the cancer diagnosis. I couldn’t believe it, as I had no symptoms, no high-risk factors, and felt healthy. My treatment included VRd followed by a successful Autologous Stem Cell Transplant in August 2019. Recovery took longer than I expected, as I experienced fatigue and ongoing GI issues while taking maintenance Revlimid.

Bone marrow biopsy

My monthly blood work improved and held steady for 17 months post SCT. Then my platelets started to drop. After decreasing to the point my doctor was officially concern, I was scheduled for a Bone Marrow BX. The night before my procedure, I was admitted to the hospital for an uncontrollable nose bleed. I was a mess and extremely scared going into the Bone Marrow BX.

Therapy related AML

The results were life-changing. The Melphalan chemo I was given prior to my SCT, caused the diagnosis of Therapy-Related AML. I spent 44 days in the hospital. During that time I received induction chemotherapy and battled a double-bacteria throat infection that resulted in 4 days in ICU and surgery. I am still recovering from the throat surgery, as I am on a soft diet and receiving IV nutrition (TPM). I am currently undergoing consolidation chemotherapy.

Allogenic stem cell transplant

The next step is to get off the IV and get strong enough to be eligible for an Allogenic Stem Cell Transplant. I am currently working with my blood oncologist and Be The Match for a donor. There is a potential donor from Sweden, that I pray daily I will be matched with for a successful transplant. I know I have a “landmine field” ahead of me, but I am fortunate to have my faith, and a very supportive husband, loving sons, a great family, and the best of friends, that are all praying for me.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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