My husband was diagnosed in June 2008 with multiple myeloma at the age of 48 after having severe back pain, which turned out to be a vertebral compression fracture.
The local general oncologist started him on a thalidomide (Thalomid) anddexamethasone (Decadron) regimen in addition to radiation on the lesion on his spine to alleviate the tremendous pain. He could move better after each treatment.
When we began consulting for treatment that included stem cell transplantation, we learned that Dave had received “extensive radiation” and that this would make collecting his stem cells “difficult,” “arduous,” and “potentially problematic.” Great! Just great! When I mentioned this to the oncologist still in charge of our care, he blew me off completely. He said, “No, no, we weren’t radiating the ‘long bones,’ which is where most stem cells come from in collection.” That’s funny, his own attending physician from his residency whom he had referred us to, disagreed. Frustrating.
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