Larry Robinson is a retired salesman for electrical equipment distributors who lives in Roswell. This is his story:
I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in February 2015, after experiencing a back injury. I was just picking up my lawn mower , which I’d done many times before, and two of my vertebrae collapsed on each other. The pain was excruciating, and it took the doctors awhile to determine what had happened. I had back surgery in August 2014 to repair that injury and returned to work. A bone biopsy was done, no cancer was detected, but a bone density test revealed that I had osteoporosis. Because my bones were so brittle, the surgeon could only repair one. When I went for my yearly physical in March, 2015, my blood test showed high protein levels. I was then referred to Northside Cancer Center for further testing. The results confirmed Multiple Myeloma. I had no family history with this cancer.
From March through November, I had chemotherapy biweekly along with an infusion for osteoporosis monthly. The treatment was awful! I lost my appetite, I was nauseous all the time, I felt very fatigued, and the chemo caused neuropathy in my feet and legs. I lost 60 pounds during this process, going from 6 feet and 200 pounds, to 5 foot 8 inches and 140 pounds. It was a difficult time for me as well as my family, but we had much support from our family and friends! I have learned to be patient and trust my doctors!
After 9 months, my numbers were low enough to have a stem cell transplant, which I did in January, 2016. It was a very lengthy and lonely journey. I was in isolation for 6 months. I had to retire from my job and basically stay at home, because my immune system was so compromised. While the transplant was successful; I am not yet in complete remission. I've been on a maintenance drug since July 2016, and after my last bone marrow biopsy, the results showed no Myeloma. This was great news, and as I see the oncologist quarterly and go for biopsies regularly, I am hopeful that I will continue to improve. But, realistically, the depressing thing about multiple myeloma is that there is NO CURE, and I will relapse.
I am working on building my energy and my strength and am blessed to be able to share time with my daughters and grand daughters. I am telling my story because I hope it will increase recognition of this awful cancer and hope that researchers will work towards finding a much-needed cure.
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