I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in September of 2008, two years after I retired from teaching. Actually, it goes back much further than that. In 1986, during a routine physical, my regular dr. noticed a spike in my protein level in my blood. He sent me to a hematologist, who did a bone marrow test. It came out benign, but he told me I needed to have that protein test done EVERY YEAR, to make sure it did not go up. It didn't ---for 23 years!! After being diagnosed in Sept. 08, I was referred to Dr. Nikhil Munshi, a MM specialist at Dana Farber in Boston. He spent over an hour with me for the first two visits, explaining the disease, options for treatments, etc. I chose Revlimid, an oral chemo drug, which I have been on ever since. I also take dexamethasone, a steroid, once a week, which is supposed to "pulse" the chemo drug and make it work better. Actually, the dex almost did me in in April of 2010. I went out to get the mail from the mailbox one day, fell down, and could not get up again. My husband and a neighbor had to get me into the house. I fell down several more times, and had no strength in my arms or legs to help myself. At the same time, I came down with a respiratory infection, and my eyes developed a hazy fog over them. I was put on an antibiotic by my pulmonologist, and I was sick for about 6 weeks. I couldn't drive, read, or anything else that required the use of my eyesight. Finally, the dex left my system, and I slowly returned to normal. When I saw my oncologist again, I blasted him, telling him that he should have listened to me before, when I tried to tell him the dose of dex was too strong for me. He listened this time, and I am now on a half-dose of dex with the Revlimid. The good news is, in a year, my IGA protein has dropped from 6,600 to 1,800!! I feel great, and I have no bone lesions or any other symptoms. I don't feel like I have cancer at all, but I know how insidious this disease can be. I guess I want you all to know that if you have a positive attitude, let people pray for you, and do your treatment, you can function pretty normally. The dr. said we will continue with the treatment I'm on since it seems to be working so well. I will be seeing him again tomorrow. I am not interested in SCT at this time, nor do I want to be put on Zometa, which he has mentioned several times. I think it is very important that we stick up for ourselves and do what we think is best for our bodies.