Carolyn Curtis was watching Dr. Oz on television in 2011 when he talked about the fact that bubbles in your urine may indicate a serious condition.

“I’d had these bubbles and after the Dr. Oz show, I brought it to the attention of my primary physician who ordered a specific urine test which led to a bone marrow biopsy which led to my diagnosis,” Curtis said.

She was diagnosed with Myeloma. March is Myeloma Awareness Month.

Myeloma (also known as Multiple Myeloma) is an incurable cancer of cells in the bone marrow which is often confused with other conditions and overlooked. Myeloma currently affects more than 100,000 people in the United States with an estimated 20,000 new cases diagnosed each year.  Myeloma is increasing in numbers and is becoming more common in younger patients, with possible links to environmental issues.

Curtis moved to The Villages in May of 2011 and was diagnosed in November 2011.

“It suddenly wasn’t the retirement I had dreamed about,” she said.

The Village of Belvedere resident had a stem cell transplant in 2012 at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville. She enjoyed a brief time of remission but her condition returned in July 2013. She is now on maintenance therapy and takes oral chemotherapy every day.

“The biggest challenge is fatigue,” she said.

She launched the Myeloma Support Group in The Villages.

Among the members of the support group is Villager Dave Gardner who has talked about his battle with Myeloma and the role The Villages Regional Hospital played in saving his life. (You can read about Gardner’s story at

“The support group is a place where people with myeloma and their families can learn about the newest treatments available and gain support and education from those who have been living with the disease,” she said.  The group meets the first Tuesday of every month from 1 to 2:50 p.m. at the Laurel Manor Recreation Center.  (You can contact Curtis at 352-399-5022

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By Meta Minton | Posted: Sunday, March 5, 2014

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