This #MyelomaVoices story was submitted on February 10, 2017 by Rose C.
My myeloma was actually caught accidentally when I had a routine urine test because my life insurance was up for renewal. The result was protein in my urine, and they wouldn’t renew my insurance policy until I had a urologist sign off on it. This started a process and journey for me. This led to a diagnosis of kidney cancer. My kidney was removed due to the cancer and then I almost bleed out (required 9 units of blood).
At the time, we didn’t know the reason why only that there was a problem. Fast forward four years and many, many tests and blood work later: they have determined that I have multiple myeloma. I have come to learn a lot more about blood than I ever did. The lessons I have learned from this are if you see anything unusual on your labs from the doctor make sure you follow-up as you are your best advocate. Also, doctors often don’t have time or don’t follow-up.
In order to truly determine if its myeloma rather than other blood cancers (which they thought I had for four years), they conducted a bone marrow biopsy. While a bone marrow biopsy is not the most pleasant experience in the world, it definitely isn’t the worst. I think there could be much better communication to explain things as I honestly had no idea what to expect with my first bone marrow biopsy and all the doctors were telling me how painful they are.
I went from no bone marrow biopsy (probably due to fear that was unfounded) to having two bone marrow biopsies done in ten days. I am now in the process of learning and educating myself about myeloma.
I’m currently on wait and watch and hope that I will be able to stay at this stage for the rest of my life. There is definitely life after a myeloma or other cancer diagnosis and having a good positive attitude along with reaching out and helping others is extremely important to your mental well-being and I venture to say your progress.
**The opinions expressed in this story are solely of the patient Rose C.