I was diagnosed with my myeloma in 2011 at the age of 36. I had developed blood clots in my lungs 5 weeks after giving birth to our 4th child. In the work up for the clots, I was found to have an abnormal protein level. Additional tests were done and then a bone marrow biopsy. All the tests indicated that I had myeloma.
On my initial bone marrow biopsy my abnormal plasma cells were between 20-30%. My local oncologist was so shocked at the diagnosis that he asked another pathologist to re-read the bone marrow biopsy. When the second pathologist confirmed the diagnosis, we were devastated.
My local oncologist consulted Dr Barlogie at UAMS. It was a little over a month before I completed all the tests at MIRT and saw Dr Barlogie. By the time I got my second BMB, my abnl plasma cells had decreased to 8-10% (we call that a God thing). With only minimal bone loss on bone density and no bone lesions, Dr Barlogie said he believed I was MGUS. (I actually had been diagnosed with MGUS when I was 27 but had forgotten about it.)
I started monthly infusions of zometa with every 3 month follow up with Dr B. My second year I went to every 6 month follow up. I completed 2 yrs of zometa therapy in Sept 2013 and now I am just monitored closely with labs and routine checkups. In October 2013 my husband and I started a local support group for myeloma. We have 4 amazing children ages 18, 13, 5 and 3. We have found amazing support in our friends, family, church and even other myeloma patients.
— Tanja M.