I am a retired Navy Hospital Corpsman who served ten of my twenty years in the military, assigned to U.S.M.C. combat units.
During my career, I served three tours of duty in Vietnam with the first being on ground with the Marines in 1965-66. During this tour of duty, our unit (as well as many others) were sprayed with Agent Orange.
I did not have any symptoms of Multiple Myeloma until approximately 2008 when my routine annual physical examinations showed that I had a decreased iron. In treatment for this condition, the doctor prescribed Vitamin C and Iron tablets daily. After one year, the same iron deficiency continued and they doubled the dosage of Iron tablets.
In 2010, I requested an expanded blood panel for my annual physical examination and was advised that I had Multiple Myeloma. The doctors took a “wait and see” approach for the first year and called my condition “Smoldering”. After one year, the treatment changed and I was started on the CyBorD chemo treatment program for a year. I was worked up for a self Stem Cell Transplant just prior to Christmas 2013 and at the last minute, this option was taken off the table.
I continue today on Revilimide chemotherapy daily and a Dexamethasone (steroid once weekly) for 21 days each month, followed by a 7 days off medications, for my body to rest.
I continue expanded blood screening at the end of each month and have also been prescribed Procrit which I self inject to keep my blood level in check and not have to take whole blood transfusions.
I feel good however, do have some side effects from the medication. I would like to think I am in semi-remission at present and pray that a cure for this disease may be found in my lifetime so as to extend my life.
— Cliff B.