Multiple myeloma Is a rare type Blood cancer Only affect less than 1% of Americans. This could seriously damage your life. But better treatments and greater awareness of this disease bring strength and hope. A diagnosis does not mean that you have to put your life aside.
Here are a few other things you may not know Multiple myeloma.
It is not bone cancer, but it can cause bone problems
Multiple myeloma affects plasma cells, white blood cells that fight infection, and white blood cells are a key part of the body’s defenses, or immune system.This cancer Start in your bone marrow, the soft spongy tissue inside your bones blood cells Is manufactured. This can cause problems such as back and bone pain, fatigue, and repeated or long-term infections.
Bone weakness is also common in patients with multiple myeloma, so more caution is needed in daily life.Samantha Hines of Dacula, Georgia, is visiting Chiropractor Cause 18 fracture On her ribs. “When he broke my back, it broke my ribs.” said Hines, a 55-year-old security expert at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
It does not happen only in the elderly
Most people with this type of cancer will learn that they have it when they are 65 or older.
Hines was in the early 1950s. Jameca Barrett is only 26 years old.
“It left a deep impression on me when most of my peers were creating careers.” said Barrett, 44, who lives in Fairburn, Georgia. “They are on the cusp of the building they are about to build, and I have this opportunity in my life.”
Barrett felt that her young age prevented her from being diagnosed as soon as possible.She was very sick twice-once with kidney The failure was a complication of multiple myeloma-she was injured before she entered the emergency room for imaging examination and found cancer. She said: “Even if they had a scan, they even said on the sticky note,’Well, we saw multiple myeloma, but her age is the opposite of the truth.”
The reason her doctor was surprised was that less than 1% of the cases were in people under 35
There is a racial gap
Multiple myeloma is the most common blood cancer among African Americans and is twice as likely to develop this disease as whites. Approximately 20% of people with this disease are black. One estimate estimates that by 2034, nearly a quarter of new diagnoses will occur in African Americans.
Experts are not sure of the exact cause. But Barrett believes that there are barriers within the African American community that prevent more people from being diagnosed and treated.
She said: “The second thing is the lack of knowledge.” “Now the situation is improving, but for many years, patients have not received enough information to know what multiple myeloma is.”
She said that the third obstacle for some people in the black community is their unwillingness to get Second opinion When your doctor tells you that you are healthy, you are worried that you are unhealthy.
“If you trust the providers, and their words are the law, I think we often fall prey,” Barrett said. “Sometimes, I think our community either doesn’t understand the value of the second opinion, or they don’t realize that they can choose to say:’You know, let me double check. Because I still feel that something is wrong and you Is telling me that I am fine.
She said that when you have a blood test, ask your doctor for the numbers and medical terms in the results. If you see a number rising or falling over time, please mention it and ask them to tell you more about that number.
Multiple myeloma may damage mental health
Barrett helped lead the Multiple Myeloma Support Team in the Atlanta area, Hines is also a member of the team.She knows several people with this disease Frustrated with anxiety, Especially those who have lost independence or received ineffective treatment.
“If you are struggling psychologically, then this will affect pain,” she said. “So you will experience this cycle caused by pain pressure, Stress can cause pain, and sometimes it never ends in the process. “
Barrett said that this disease can affect your identity and abilities because you may not be able to do everything you did in the past, or you may need to rely more on others for help.This is why it is important Mental Health Care about whether you are struggling.
She said that if you reach your goal, it’s also important to do some reflection ease. That is when your symptoms disappear and the test does not find signs of cancer in your plasma cells, although there is no cure for the disease.
Barrett said that after at least a year of relief, some people have benefited spiritually from establishing “a newly defined self, excited about who you are and what you are going to accomplish next.”
You don’t have to put your dreams aside
Rear Chemotherapy, A Stem cell transplantationAs well as follow-up care, Barrett has recovered for 15 years. Since then, she has encountered some health problems, “but I am very lucky that I have not been treated for myeloma for many years,” she said.
Hines is being treated with a third chemotherapy drug. She said that the most common misconception about multiple myeloma is the death penalty.
When she was diagnosed with stage III disease in 2018, an Internet search told her that her life expectancy was 2 years.She said, “I just started crying.” “I was like,’I’m still young, my son is going to college, and I have a bucket list. Time is not enough! I want live. ‘”
She is too. She is an avid biker and sold her motorcycle because of the danger of her bones. Now, she drives a more stable tricycle for fun. “I refuse to let the grass grow under my feet. I’m still walking with the wind.”
Hynes overhauled her diet Let yourself live healthier in disease.She eats more vegetables And avoid sugar And meat. She also started a series of all-natural balsamic vinegar salad dressings and realized her dream.
She also gave the shoe a facelift and wrote a message on the sole. She said: “All my shoes, under them, have’F multiple myeloma’.” “So when I walk around, I get rid of myeloma all day long. Even in my bedroom. Under the slippers…so when I fell on the floor every day, I would take it out of life. I didn’t put it in the forefront. I have cancer-it doesn’t have me.”