Living with Myeloma

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Topics include: Living Well and Patient Stories

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Some cancers are not curable but can be well managed without diminishing the quality of life for patients. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of your plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in your bone marrow. In this program, Dr. Tanya Wahl and her patient, Steve, will discuss the diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma. Dr. Wahl is a oncologist and Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) in the Cancer Center at Overlake Hospital Medical Center.

At the age of 73, Steve Henkel was opening a window when he popped his shoulder. After a visit to an orthopedic surgeon, they found myeloma in his clavicle during a routine x-ray. It was later discovered that Steve had a rare form of myeloma that was causing his bones to weaken. He was referred to Dr. Wahl and to a radiation oncologist. Steve was treated with radiation, which was not easy for him. Dr. Wahl was by his side through treatment and today remains optimistic about Steve’s full life. Just a few weeks before this program was recorded, Steve was skiing the black diamond at Whistler in Canada.

Dr. Wahl begins by discussing the progress being made in myeloma treatment, “Although it is still not a curable disease there is a great deal of optimism that it will be curable some day, and just in the last seven or eight years there have been a number of new treatments made available to patients that have remarkably improved how well we can do by them and how well they can live with the disease.” She goes on to talk about these specific achievements, life after treatment and her hope for the future. If you or someone you know is seeking information about multiple myeloma, this program is truly an inspiration.

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Produced in association with Overlake Hospital Medical Center

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Transcript

Steve, you’re 75 now.  We’re going to tell the happy part of your story, and we’re going to meet your Overlake doctor who has made a huge difference for you, but let’s talk about when it started.  Age 73, in the spring you were opening a window.  What happened? 

Dr. Tanya Wahl is a medical oncologist at Overlake Hospital Medical Center and, Dr. Wahl, Steve is there with you at your office today and he’s doing well.  Multiple myeloma, is this one of these cancers where we have made progress? 

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Page last updated on December 16, 2013