Articles tagged with: Quality Of Life


[ by | Mar 6, 2014 11:11 am | 30 Comments ]
Pat’s Place: Is A Therapy Tolerable? It’s All Relative

Last month I promised to update you following the discovery that I had developed several large plasmacytomas (lesions or tumors) under my ribs.  I had just started radiation therapy to relieve the sharp pain I felt there.

I’m happy to report that most of the pain is now gone.

Reflecting back, it’s been a tough month.

Leading up to the discovery of the plasmacytomas, I had been feeling much better than in the past, thanks in part to ongoing testosterone ther­a­py and a maintenance regimen of once-a-week Velcade …

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[ by | Nov 7, 2013 1:11 pm | 18 Comments ]
Pat’s Place: Don’t Give Up On Seeking Help To Improve Your Quality Of Life!

"You gotta fight – for your right – to party!"  Remember that popular 1986 song by the Beastie Boys?  I was never a "rocker," but I couldn't get the song out of my head yesterday morning while I was doing some yard work.

A fellow multiple myeloma patient recently asked me, “How do other patients you know deal with their fatigue?  I’m tired all of the time…”  A great question with no simple answer.

So many things can cause fatigue in a multiple myeloma patient.  Stem cell transplant patients can …

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[ by | Jun 24, 2013 2:59 pm | 22 Comments ]
A Vietnam Veteran With Multiple Myeloma Speaks Up

I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma about five years ago, after complaining to doctors for a year or so of bone pain, especially in my ribs and legs.

At the time of my diagnosis, I was told that it was possible I might survive for another three years.

I have outlived that prediction and am happy I have. I believe that two autologous stem cell transplants have made that survival possible. I enjoy living every day, although I do have bone pain and other problems that prevent me from living the …

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[ by | May 2, 2013 9:06 am | 30 Comments ]
Pat’s Place: Improving My Quality Of Life

“Your myeloma is stable.”  Short, sweet music to my ears!

I’m not sure she realized it, but my myeloma specialist had just opened up a world of possibilities for me.

Two years ago, I relapsed for the first time.  After taking a year-and-a-half to finally achieve remission again, all were concerned when I relapsed after ten short weeks.  Now, after three months on Velcade (bortezomib) and dexa­metha­sone (Decadron), I waited to find out if that basic com­bi­na­tion was enough to stall out my myeloma’s active return.  …

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NewsFlash »

[ by | Aug 23, 2012 2:17 pm | 2 Comments ]

ALT-801 Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial Is Enrolling Relapsed Or Refractory Myeloma Patients - The Florida-based biopharmaceutical company Altor Bioscience has started a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of its investigational drug ALT-801.  The trial is being conducted at the University of Iowa and is recruiting myeloma patients who have had at least two previous treatment regimens.  ALT-801 is a protein that triggers immune cells to attack cancer cells.  The drug also is being explored as a potential treatment for melanoma and bladder cancer.  For more information, see the clinical trial description and information about ALT-801 at the Altor website.

Study Supports Use Of Once-Weekly Velcade – Results from a recent retrospective Chinese study support previous findings that once-weekly Velcade (bortezomib) is similar to twice-weekly Velcade in terms of efficacy and safety.  Similar results were first found in 2010 during a study of Velcade in combination with melphalan (Alkeran), prednisone, and thalidomide (Thalomid).  The results from that study showed that once-weekly Velcade was as effective as twice-weekly Velcade and that patients who received Velcade once a week experienced fewer side effects, especially peripheral neuropathy (pain, tingling, or loss of sensation in the extremities), a common side effect of Velcade (see related Beacon news).  The current study found that overall response rates were similar for patients treated with once-weekly (77 percent) or twice-weekly Velcade (75 percent) in combination with dexamethasone (Decadron). In addition, the median progression-free survival was similar in both groups (8 months versus 10 months, respectively). Side effects were more common among patients treated twice a week; however, the differences were not statistically significant. In particular, 31 percent of patients treated with once-weekly Velcade developed neuropathy as compared to 50 percent of patients treated with twice-weekly Velcade. For more information, please see the study in the Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (abstract).

Age And Platelet Count May Predict Ability To Collect Enough Stem Cells For Transplant – Findings from a recent study show that age and platelet count can be used to predict whether a multiple myeloma patient is likely to successfully harvest enough stem cells for a transplant. Patients older than 58 years or who had a baseline platelet count less than 161,000 cells/mm3 failed to collect enough stem cells using granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to mobilize the stem cells into the blood for collection. The study investigators conclude that patients with these characteristics should not receive mobilization with G-CSF alone and that alternative methods of mobilization should be tested. For more information, please see the study in Transfusion and Apheresis Science (abstract).

Treatment-Free Intervals Improve Quality Of Life For Multiple Myeloma Patients – A recent survey of multiple myeloma patients in the United Kingdom shows that patients in their first treatment-free interval and those experiencing a longer treatment-free interval enjoy better quality of life as compared to patients in other phases of treatment. The investigators believe these results may help doctors and patients make treatment decisions, especially when considering extended treatment plans. For more information, please refer to the study in Supportive Care in Cancer (abstract).