Patient Stories: E.C.’s Story


E.C. | Patient

Living with multiple myeloma since 2010

Patient E.C. Living With Multiple Myeloma Story

My multiple myeloma journey began when I thought I had pulled a muscle playing racquetball. I initially thought it was nothing and consulted my doctor, who agreed that it was probably a pulled or bruised muscle and sent me home. After 8 months, the pain was still there, and I went back to my doctor for a checkup. Concerned that I hadn’t healed, my doctor ordered an ultrasound. There was a tumor on my rib. He told me that there was a strong possibility it was cancer and referred me to an oncologist, who confirmed I had multiple myeloma.

Initially, my doctor said that they wouldn’t start treatment but would monitor the disease to see if it progressed. I thought that was a good sign.

Soon afterwards, it was discovered that my multiple myeloma had worsened, so my doctor and I decided to start treatment immediately.

During my treatments, I never stopped playing racquetball. Eventually, I suffered an injury during a game that led to a Class 5 shoulder separation and a heart seizure for which my doctor recommended inserting a pacemaker. A few weeks later, I began suffering extreme chest pains and was immediately brought to the hospital, where they found clots in my lungs. I was told that my multiple myeloma treatment would have to be stopped. While that was discouraging, my family and I were even more shocked to learn that my wife, Lynn, had been diagnosed with recurrent metastatic breast cancer and needed chemotherapy.

Thereafter, my doctor suggested that I get a stem cell transplant—I was completely overwhelmed. I wanted to be there for my wife, but she insisted I get the treatment. With her permission and persistence, I underwent the procedure. Afterwards, Lynn helped me to recover. Sadly, soon after that, she passed away.

Not too long after, my cell counts worsened, and I was placed on a different combination therapy. During that time, I didn’t think there would be any treatment opportunities for someone at my stage of multiple myeloma. But a friend e-mailed me to let me know that a multiple myeloma specialist would be giving a talk. I went to the meeting and was captivated. Afterwards, I spoke to the specialist about my condition, and he asked that I come to his office the next day.

After our appointment, I was prescribed DARZALEX® and soon received my first treatment. 

Over the past years, I have learned to cherish moments with loved ones and stay grateful. Additionally, I encourage everyone to discuss treatment options with their healthcare professionals.

Read Debby’s story about living with multiple myeloma.