Those of us elders may recall thalidomide. It was prescribed for morning sickness in late 50s or so. It was discontinued, today perhaps blackboxed because it caused severe, grotesque birth defects.
Similar to most chemo drugs, the derivatives of thalidomode – Revlimid, Polymist, Lenalidomide – are quite toxic. However over the years researchers found there were also anti-cancer qualities to thalidomide. When researchers manipulated the molecules to lessen the toxicity, it became one more choice in the arsenal against Cancer. I believe most MM’rs take or have taken one of these drugs over the course of their treatments.
Other Chemo meds are also very toxic by design. Cancer is a nasty mutation. Among it’s many qualities is survivability. It spits off cells that can hide for years until they metastisize from an unsuspected hiding place. Leukemia can cross the brain/body barrier and sneak into the folds and crevices of ones brain only to reappear in the end game. So it seems best practice is to hammer, pound, cut, chase, burn, do whatever to stop Cancer at first sight. Hence, why the LTS (Long Term Survival rates) are moving up albeit all too slowly for those of us with MM. And also why Cancer patients suffer the way we do.
In a macabre way, the MM demographics fall on folks around 65’ish, after a good part of life has been lived. On the other hand, if you’re like me, thoughts of not seeing Grandkids grow up are the most painful of all. Waterfalls of tears have been shed, still, when I think of this. I make no excuses for MM here. Cancer sucks at any time.
I mention all this because I hope patients ask for, and receive, all the Clarity they can from their oncologists about their therapy. It’s vital patients advocate for themselves. No changes may be made, but without clarity, any changes one might have available can’t be discussed.
It’s your life, not their’s.