Patient Stories

Theresa MacNutt

Theresa's myeloma IgD is a rare form and her initial symptoms were different than those often associated with the more common IgG myeloma.

I was in the school for nursing. About three months before I graduated I went to the doctor thinking I had a sinus infection. My head was so stuffy and I had a lot of pressure in my head; I was prescribed a lot of medicines but nothing cleared it up. Then I developed a large lump on my left eyebrow and my eye was swollen and droopy and another lump on my left jaw appeared so they ordered a CT and when the x-ray tech told me to wait as he had to show them to the doctor I knew something was up, but they sent me on my way telling me to make a doctor appointment in a few days.

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Lillian Barton

Frequent recurrent sinus infections, colds and ‘flu’s often needing antibiotics, and a slightly low hemoglobin made me think “I must be run down and working too much.” which would explain my feeling tired all the time.

Then, when I experienced back pain, I assumed it was due to a work related injury. Trying get better quickly, I tried all the modalities from massage therapy to physio treatments three times a week and nothing seemed to help. Finally out of desperation I went to a chiropractor for my back pain. I remember standing in the doorway to the treatment room saying “If you can’t make me better, please don’t make me any worse.” The instant intense pain following the treatment told me I was worse. X-rays showed I had sustained four vertebral fractures and consequently had lost three and half inches in height. That in itself wasn’t good since...

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Keven Drews

Keven Drews was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM) in 2003. His age is unusual within the realm of myeloma statistics but so is his attitude.

I remember the day I first began to fight back against cancer. More than a week after my diagnosis, in early April 2003, I was laying in a bed in Royal Columbian Hospital. Visitation hours were over. My parents and wife had left. The ward was quiet, and the room was dark. Days earlier, doctors had diagnosed me with multiple myeloma, a nasty blood cancer that had attacked my bones, wreaking havoc on my vertebrae. The disease usually attacks people in their 60s; I was just 30. So there I was, with earphone plugged into the TV, watching a Vietnam-era war movie. Then, out of nowhere a phrase popped into my head: “I ain’t dead, yet.” I repeated it, and for the first time in weeks, I cracked a grin. Who knows what lay ahead, I thought, but one thing was sure: I was still alive, watching a movie.

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The Leukemia BMT program offers some excellent tips for living with myeloma.