Multiple Myeloma Journey

After 69 years of good health, I was told by my physician that my kidneys were failing in mid-2014 and referred me immediately to a nephrologist for testing. I had been in considerable rib and back pain for several months prior and had been told by urgent care that it was osteoporosis.

Starting my journey

Testing revealed multiple myeloma, which I had never heard of. I was referred to an oncologist and entered into a clinical trial with Revlimid, Dexamethasone, and Ninlaro although at the time I did not know the third drug. It worked so well that within 4 weeks my poor kidneys were overloaded with dead cancer cells and were about to shut down. I was hospitalized for two weeks to get everything fixed. My Kidney function came back pretty well, but after dosage was cut on my medication, my cancer just kept getting stronger.

After a few more months, I dropped out of the program and was put on injections of Velcade. Velcade was wonderful. There were no more horrible side effects like sweats, chills, or appetite loss. I had lost 30 pounds during clinical trial. I was on Velcade for two years and got to remission for more than a year before it stopped working. Next, I was on Empliciti and Pomalyst for about six months and it did not seem to be effective.

After that I went to UCLA for evaluation and UCLA in conjunction with my local oncologist recommended a program of Daratumumab, Dexamethasone, and Pomalyst with a final goal of a stem cell transplant if all goes well. I have been on this program since June 2018 and a recent biopsy reveals cancer cells are down to 30%! So it looks quite positive right now. I also began receiving Denosumab for bone strengthening just this week.

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Comments

View Comments (4)
  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    1 week ago

    @dprichard912 – I’m so happy your team was able to present another possibility, such as the velcade. The cocktails are more potent than they were some years back, in treating multiple myeloma; However, the future is looking brighter for many of us. If they can only find a cure, which there’s the talk of this in the near future until then we keep playing with the drugs that are available. I wish you the very best in this journey my fellow mm warrior! Best!

  • dprichard912 author
    1 week ago

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I hope Springtime will bring with it the very real possibility of a Stem Cell Transplant in 2019.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    5 days ago

    @dprichard912 – Ditto to what Anthony said. My fingers are double-crossed. If you can try and enjoy this Christmas holiday, whichever you celebrate then please do. Best to a healthier 2019!

  • Anthony Carrone moderator
    1 week ago

    Keeping my fingers crossed for that SCT, @dprichard912. Sending positive vibes your way. Please keep us updated on how you are doing! Best, Anthony

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