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My dad was 51 when his multiple myeloma was diagnosed in stage III. He had been very tired for quite some time. (One ignored hallmark of the disease manifested about three years previously. He had always donated blood but was refused at about 48 because his iron was low. No one advised him to immediately check into that. As a young and strong man, his iron should not have been that low ever) However, he was a firefighter getting ready for retirement, so, we all believed he would be much better after a few months in his dream home in Wisconsin.
He became more and more exhausted. Finally, when he was sleeping close to round the clock, my aunt forced the issue that he go to the hospital immediately. (She was a nurse.) He was diagnosed within one day as his kidneys were shutting down. He lived beyond any expectation of the medical community (some good years). He worked hard to remodel his dream home, got to meet a few new grandchildren and died at 55.
Moral: Low iron counts in an otherwise healthy younger male are never "normal." Extreme exhaustion in anyone is not always a sign of depression or fatigue. Multiple myeloma can strike any age or demographic; Dad didn't fit any of the stereotypes.
I had no new symptoms when I went in for my regular check up with my doctor. She ran a blood test and noticed an increase in my anemia. I had been on the edge, but now I was below the edge. She sent me to a hemotologist. I had no idea that she was checking for everything from anemia to leukemia or multiple myeloma. I was thinking "iron" pills. I had a bone biopsy that day and got the results about three weeks later at my next available appointment. It was a shock, and I was not ready for it. I was told that at this time it is rarely curable but treatable. No time frame of survival was given, and I was not able to ask any other questions as I had never heard of multiple myeloma. After three days of shock, I went on the web and gathered all the info I could and got my grown sons to help me look up more info. My whole family was in shock. I have been undergoing treatment for almost two years now, and I am tired, I have kidney problems, and I have one blood clot so far. So I am doing OK. I do go to a support group in San Diego, and it has been more then helpful..
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