During the time after the December 30 blood test, Mr. B started experiencing some strange bone pain. Mr. B's job requires him to do shift work. On January 5, he was getting up from his afternoon nap and had a shooting, searing pain in his right shoulder. It troubled him so much that he called in sick that night. It continued to bother him but he also started experiencing more pain in his ribs and back. By January 20, he was not able to sleep lying down in bed and so started sleeping in his easy chair or propped up with pillows on the couch.
On January 31, Dr. D said that because Mr. B's M Protein was so high, 79 g/L, she was pretty much positive that he had Multiple Myeloma but she would do a bone marrow biopsy to have the diagnosis confirmed. She also said that she felt he didn't need any treatment at this time but would need monitoring to make sure things were not getting worse. Dr. D assured us that if she were to get a cancer, this would be the one she would want since people could live 10 or 20 years. Mr. B told her of the bothersome pain that he had been experiencing since January 5 so she decided to send him for an MRI. We left that appointment feeling uplifted that maybe things weren't as bad as we thought they were. Boy were we wrong.
We refer to Feb 17 as "D Day" for Diagnosis Day.The bone marrow biopsy test results came back with 76% plasma cells in the bone marrow. There should be less than 3% of plasma cells in a healthy person. Dr. D said that Mr. B needed to start chemo treatments immediately and that she would be sending him to a radiologist to discuss the results of the MRI and possible treatment options. We were stunned! How could things change so quickly less than three weeks later? Dr. D wanted Mr. B to sign the consent forms to start his treatments within the next few weeks. Mr. B was so overwhelmed that he asked for the weekend to think things over before he signed the papers. A week later he signed the forms and then started on his weekly chemo treatments of an injectible drug called bortezomib and pulse treatment with dexamethasone. The pulse treatment was a high dose of this steroid for 4 days on the drug and 4 days off for one month. Then he was to take the same dose once a week on the same day as the bortezomib.
(More to come.)