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Thread: Multiple Myeloma - End Stage

  1. #1
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    Multiple Myeloma - End Stage

    My mother lost her battle with Multiple Myeloma last Monday. Over the past few years I had been looking around for information about what to expect. I thought of sharing my motherís story as it might comfort to some of the loved ones of people with multiple myeloma.

    Two and a half years ago, my mother was having excruciating pain in her left pelvis and thigh. On a thorough examination and diagnostic tests, she was found to be suffering from Multiple Myeloma stage III B. She was treated with 16 shots of Bortezomib. She was able to take the treatment without too much of problems. However, the pain in her pelvis was unbearable. For that 10 fractions of radiation therapy were administered. This alleviated the pain to a large extent but due to weak bones, she needed a walker to be mobile. She was in remission for 1 and a half years. The diagnostic tests showed that MM was not present. However, she developed some other complications like pulmonary embolism and had to hospitalized 4-5 times for chest infection / breathing problems. It seemed that it was a combination of embolism and pneumonia. To be honest, a few of these times, she was in pretty bad shape but bounced back.

    The period till one year after her last hospitalization was mostly trouble free. Although, MM did reappear early this year, but the oncologist advised that until there are some symptoms, there is no need to start treatment. In August she started having increased level of bone pain and felt uncomfortable. On advise of oncologist, her chemotherapy was restarted. She was given just one shot of Bortezomib but just three days later she developed severe breathing problem. I took her to emergency section of hospital. She was treated for 9 days for pneumonia.

    On coming back home, she was fine for the first two weeks. I thought once she has regained some strength we can resume the chemotherapy. But beginning third week, her appetite reduced. By the end of week, she was almost being force feed. Moreover, she was getting drowsy and talking incoherently.

    I decided to take her back to hospital. Doctors initially felt that she just needs to be kept under observation for 1-2 days. But gradually her condition worsened. Her calcium level went high and protein level was alarmingly high. Her renal function got compromised due to stress on kidney by over-production of proteins. In this case the small tubules of the kidneys become blocked and their efficiency at removing waste gets severely impaired. She probably was also suffering from Hypercalcaemia. She was given dialysis and Bortezomib shot on the second night of her stay. But her condition did not improve. She was taken into intensive care unit on third day.

    She was feed powdered meal using Ryles tube and given chemotherapeutic medicines. She was undergoing dialysis almost every two days. Although, her calcium and protein levels dropped but her kidney function did not resume. After 3 more days she lost consciousness. The doctors informed that the end is near unless something miraculous happens.

    Her pneumonia had become refractory (resistant) to treatment and she required quite high level of oxygen. On her last day, doctors asked me if she should be put on ventilator. Seeing her condition and given the fact that her infections were not improving, I decided not to put additional pain. The doctor did not give more than two hours. My mother waged her last battle in a dignified manner. She fought for 8 long hours. In the end, she went away peacefully, oblivious to all machinations being done to resuscitate her till the last moment. Her children were with her when she passed away and together we prayed for her.

    I'm really proud of her. She bear all the pain and pricks of cancer treatment with dignity. Her sense of humor was intact as long as her mind held out. In fact, she often used to crack jokes about her funeral. I had read that in last stages of MM, there is excruciating pain as bones become brittle. My mother did not had to bear that pain as she did not live long enough to go to that stage. Although, I wanted my mother to live longer but I am satisfied that her end was calm and peaceful.

    I feel relieved on telling the story of my mother. It would help me in grieving. I hope it will comfort some of you in knowing that death from Multiple Myeloma can be less traumatic than from a lot of other causes.

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User esk2poo's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your mom. Yes, writing it down is extrmely therapeutic. Glad your mom did not really suffer at the end and you are at peace with that. Try to remember the good times you shared. It takes a while but they will come where you will forget about the horrible part of this disease.
    God bless,
    Allen
    Stage 3B Colon cancer 8/23/2011
    Resection 9/15/11
    Folfox starts 10/31/11
    Dehydration,blood clots, numerous hospitalization due to complications
    Gall bladder/ hernia repair, 4/2013
    Melanoma sole of right foot 2010
    Clean scans so far.
    12/14/14 that little puppy in my avatar went to heaven

 

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