I work hard not to make this site “all about me.” But I wanted to share a short update about a few recent health concerns.
Two weeks ago I began experiencing acute pain in my upper right leg and hip. It got so bad I could barely walk. My wife, Pattie, and a fellow muliple myeloma survivor and good friend, Karl from Hastings, Minnesota, insisted I make an appointment to get it checked-out.
I’m glad they pushed me to go. Early indications were it was a plasmacytoma–a tumor comprised of myeloma cells–located in my inner right thigh muscle. A MRI last Thursday showed that was probably not the problem. But it did reveal a change in one of the pre-existing lesions–or holes–in my femur. I go in for additional x-rays tomorrow.
The treatment option for either a plasmacytoma or growing lesion in the bone is the same: Radiation. It could be a lot worse!
My leg has improved recently. I am walking again with far less pain. But I can tell something is wrong–it isn’t simply a pulled muscle.
This is my first, non-blood work related multiple myeloma set-back in over three years. It is disconcerting and a bit scary. But I’m not overly concerned. Really! Every long term myeloma survivor I have met has been forced to overcome complications far more serious than this.
Speaking of blood work, news on that front was equally discouraging. My M-spike had been slowly rising since this time last year at a wonderfully slow rate of .1 every three or four months. My blood work from last week’s visit shows that rate has increased a lot. It took me ten months for my M-spike to go from “too small to measure” to .4. It has now climbed to .7 in two short months.
My myeloma doc, Melissa Alsina, recommends we adjust my therapy once my M-spike reaches 1. Looks like I am only a few months away from that fateful meeting. Watch for more about this in my Myeloma Beacon column Thursday afternoon.
Not the end of the world. But when combined with the localized issues in my leg… Let’s just say I’m being forced to face reality and my own mortality again.
It is my/your/our new normal. This is the hand we have all been dealt–to live with an incurable cancer.
I get so wrapped up in my work, I considered not writing about any of this for a while. Denial is a powerful drug! But it would have been disingenuous of me to counsel so many of you who e-mail and call me for advice, while not sharing news about my own medical challenges.
No worries! I will keep you updated if and when I learn more. I am close to announcing some exciting new changes I am planning: The addition of two new interactive sites and lots of new features, designed to help patients and caregivers from an experienced patient perspective. I had better get back to work!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat