Myeloma Not Sarcoma

It was two weeks ago when I had a conversation with an Intern at CHU Rennes. She said that the pathologist had a hypothesis that wife might have Myeloma and not Sarcoma. They were re-examining the previous biopsy and doing a diagnostic electrophoresis test of her bloods.  The latter would give a better than 90% diagnosis.

In a sense the Myeloma journey then started, as a nameable entity, on the 3rd of December.

Needless to say, I read multiple epidemiological articles on Myeloma and as a result the wife’s PET scan looks a lot less frightening.

If any cancer diagnosis is to be preferred, then Myeloma is “better” than Sarcoma, especially in terms of comparative longevity.

Yesterday was day 1 of the first cycle of chemotherapy for the wife, the day after an A&E blues and twos admission.

I’ll start pricing up oxygen concentrators over the weekend. To have as contingency and for the occasional hour or two of therapy. The first treatment plan is six months long, which is a lot longer than the horizon we had been looking at.

I have just read Myeloma Matters published by Myeloma UK.

In it there are updates on research, life stories and fund raising.

There is also a French equivalent.

It looks like a long road. The new drugs are expensive and made in Tredegar of all places. The stories all talk of a good remission to start with, and the theme of a convoluted and lengthy diagnosis is a common one.

How come the awareness of this disease is so low?

The rate of diagnosis is going up. Is that because of better diagnosis or and increased prevalence?

I am probably going to learn a whole lot more about this.

I have the electrophoresis data on the dining table, and it looks very much like all the others I have seen in the literature. That can’t be a hard test to do.

When the intern was talking to me, she said that they were going to use a technique called “electrophoresis”. In my mind was “look love when I was a Ph.D. student, I used to demonstrate physical chemistry to first and second year would be medics.” They were not a very scientific/ quantitative bunch back then.

A few days after she called from the Sarcoma specialist unit and the wife was ambulanced to a Haematologist. The diagnosis was confirmed and after a committee of bods agreed both with the diagnosis and gave the go ahead for the expenditure, treatment has started.

What lies ahead remains to be seen but it has a lot more shape and direction to it than before…

There is even sense of purpose. The haematologist said the target, in years, which he had in mind, 10.

This was a whole lot better than the months with the other putative diagnosis

I think I shall have a glass of wine shortly…

It has been a vey strange month or so…

Perhaps Santa has given us an early present…no reindeer needed.