Click here to return to the home page.
The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC

Patients' Stories
Multiple Myeloma Stories

John's Story

John was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM) in 1999

My name is John and I was diagnosed with IgG kappa stage III multiple myeloma on November 23rd, 1999. As I had been very active and had only recently been half of a two man crew bringing a 38-foot trimaran up from Mexico to Victoria on a course 800 miles offshore, an exercise quite physically demanding, the diagnosis came as something of a shock. I was told my prognosis was two months to two years to five, possibly five years if I had a successful bone marrow transplant. I had just turned sixty-five.

Fortunately I went on the internet and discovered a message from a gentleman in his 80s who had been living with multiple myeloma for seventeen years. I thought “If he can do it, why not me?”

On February 21st, 2000, I had the stem cell transplant. It went well. A that time the chemo dose given was heavier than that given today. They said I would lose my hair and would likely be sick. They were right about the hair but, while I had to swallow hard a few times, I did not throw up once. I was advised that it would take me about a year to fully recover from treatment, which I did not believe. Again, they were right. Patients now, though, seem to be recovering much faster.

Unlike patients around me, I did not get the response from the transplant that we had hoped for. In the five years following, I did almost every treatment that was available to me to hold the disease in
check, hoping that a new drug or treatment would come along that would prove more effective. In that time we were never able to do more than stabilize the myeloma at a high level of activity. . . .

For the full story, click on the PDF icon below.

John's Story (PDF 797KB)

^ Top