If you have myeloma, your bone marrow starts to make abnormal plasma cells. These cells are known as myeloma cells, which produce an abnormal type of antibody known as paraprotein or M protein. Unlike a normal antibody, paraprotein doesn’t have any useful functions and can’t fight infection.
Myeloma cells are cancerous, meaning they grow in an uncontrolled way. They can spread though your bone marrow and bone, causing the symptoms of myeloma.
When I was officially diagnosed as having Myeloma on 8th January 2013 I had a score of 53 para proteins/gl
Four cycles of chemo later I have…..
ZERO. NONE. 0
Can you believe it? Yesterday I was told that I had had a complete response to treatment.
This means that at this moment in time I have no cancerous cells in my body.
It is quite hard to get my head around really but I never doubted that together we could do it. It is the best outcome that I could hope for.
Now it doesn’t mean I don’t have Myeloma as apparently I will always have that? My bone marrow apparently produces these abnormal cells but at this moment in time I don’t have any of them because the chemotherapy has killed them all off.
The next step is the harvesting of my stem cells. This includes a bit more chemo, approx ten days of injecting a cell growing drug and then the stem cell collection. These stem cells will then be stored in a big freezer until I need them.
I am visualising never actually needing them. I am told that the para proteins will rise again but I am going for about 15 years before that happens and by then I expect those very clever people to have found a cure so a transplant won’t be necessary.
The doctors aren’t quite as optimistic as I am and they like to give an average of about two years before they will be required, but even two years is a long time in the advancement of new treatments. This is why cancer research is so important and the reason for my Summer fund raising party.
Today will be a good day as I bask in the sunshine and the knowledge of a cancer free body. Sofa surfing will be a pleasure instead of a chore. Knowing I am in remission with just a little way to go before my treatments are all over for now is really comforting. The sun will start to re energise my tired cells and help to reduce the pain in my hands and legs.
Hooray for sunshine and Hooray for remission.
Thank you to all at UCLH, to the clever doctors, researchers and nurses and ….
Thank you dear readers for all for your help on this journey.
I hope your day will be as good as mine.