David is facing the camera and smiling. He is bald and wearing black framed glasses and a white polo shirt.

Me and myeloma: David’s story

Our ‘Me and myeloma’ stories are a series of stories from the myeloma community.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m 53 and have always been fairly healthy, not always fit, but at the time of diagnosis, I was the fittest I’d been for 20 years.

I’m married with a 24-year-old son and 30-year-old stepdaughter.

I used to play golf regularly and love mountain biking, walking and being outdoors, as I live in the Peak District.

Diagnosis story

Can you tell us about your myeloma diagnosis?

I had a routine medical for work (as I work in the rail industry) that showed high protein levels in my urine. I took a self-funded blood test that showed a kidney deficiency, and I referred it to my GP.

Several blood tests later, I was sent to a nephrology unit, and they were confused about my results as I was asymptomatic. A further blood test showed possible myeloma. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed it was multiple myeloma in October 2021.

We were absolutely devastated. We had tears, tantrums and the “why me” questions. All this without any symptoms whatsoever, so was I lucky?

What helped you when you were first diagnosed?

The only thing that really helped at first was the massive support from family and close friends. Further on, I have had support from my Clinical Team, Myeloma UK, and social media support groups.

I then wanted to do something positive and practical, so I set up my JustGiving page, which has currently raised over £22,000 for Myeloma UK. I know this probably won’t help me, but hopefully will go towards helping patients in the future. A cure MUST be found.

What message or advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed?

Please be positive at all times, listen to other patients’ experiences and take the good out of it. And most importantly, ask as many questions as you feel is helpful. Your clinical team are amazing and will offer advice and support at all stages.

In remission

Can you tell us about your experience with remission?

I had my stem cell transplant in June 2022, and it has been a difficult and long recovery after contracting COVID-19 for the second time.

Being currently in remission is an amazing feeling, but I am also aware that I’m a possible ticking time bomb. After being diagnosed, I had to cancel three holidays due to my treatment, so I have now booked several holidays to spend precious time and make memories with family and friends.

I am also looking forward to returning to work in some capacity.

What message or advice would you give to someone who is in remission?

Enjoy life to the full, but please do not overdo it. Your body is not the same as before. Listen to your body and take the advice of your consultant.

Close-up photograph of a hand holding a mobile phone.

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