When I was diagnosed with myeloma, my doctor prescribed nine chemotherapy cycles, leading up to a stem cell transplant about a year later. I’ve also had thalidomide and steroid treatment.
After I had the transplant, I was feeling good, but looking back at photos, I think it affected me more than I realised at the time.
Luckily, all the treatment hasn’t damaged my kidneys, but I have had other side effects. At times, I’ve been so fatigued that my brain can’t seem to think, but I just wait until I feel less dopey. I also became very susceptible to infections. A small scrape can quickly become serious.
I’m still figuring it out. Some things are caused by ageing, some things are the cancer, and some things are the drugs. But when I feel like an infection is coming on, I’ve learnt to see my doctor straightaway.
Dr Jane Estell, Senior Staff Specialist, Haematology Department, Concord Cancer Centre, and Senior Clinical Lecturer, The University of Sydney; Brenda Clasquin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Jacqui Keogh, Senior Myeloma Support Nurse, Myeloma Australia; Dr Silvia Ling, Haematologist, Liverpool Hospital and Sydney Adventist Hospital; and John Miller, Consumer.
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