Mother, 54, Diagnosed With Myeloma After Doctors Dismissed Fatigue

a serious blood cancer, after doctors repeatedly dismissed her symptoms.

In 2015, Sarah Dean, 54, who lived in Bournemouth, Dorset, England, began feeling tired around the clock.

“She thought something was wrong with her so she went to the doctors several times,” her husband, Simon Dean, told The Sun. “Ella She thought she was becoming a hypochondriac, but deep down she she knew she was unwell.”

“She had blood tests, they said she was anemic and they needed to up her iron levels,” he continued. “It seemed to be one thing after another, but she she was still generally pretty well, but she she just knew she did n’t feel right.”

Sarah and Simon. Photo via The Sun

But in September 2015, Sarah finally received her diagnosis after 10 days in the hospital — she had multiple myeloma.

“We heard two nurses talking in the corridor and they said it was suspected,” Simon said. “It could have been about anyone, but the next day we saw a specialist and he told us it was myeloma.”

Receiving her diagnosis was only the first day; Sarah’s kidneys soon failed and she had to visit the hospital three days a week for dialysis (a treatment for people whose kidneys are failing). That was on top of the chemotherapy treatment for her blood cancer.

Once Christmas came around, Sarah was feeling better, but she would soon relapse, time and time again.

“She had nine or ten different chemotherapy and every time we would have a positive result and then the cancer would come back,” Simon said.

“Sarah had two stem cell transplants, sepsis, pneumonia, all at varying times,” he added. “She was in and out of hospital, the myeloma had attacked her back bone of her and her vertebra of her were mashed into one.”

“No matter how many treatments she had, she remained positive and her hematologist… was convinced it was her positivity that gave her more time.”

multiple myelomas
Sarah with her four children, two of whom were her biological children and the other two were her step children. Photo via The Sun

However, Sarah’s battle with multiple myeloma ended on Aug. 29, 2019, when she passed away, leaving Simon heartbroken.

The couple had a wonderful life together. They met in 2001, and Simon told The Sun he knew “immediately” that she was the one.

In 2004, they moved in together and blended their families — Simon has two children, Sophie, now 28 and Lewis, 30, and Sarah also had two children, Erin, now 26 and Harry, 31. And by 2007, they decided to get married.

While Sarah’s death left Simon heartbroken, he was able to find love again and he’s now engaged to Di Pritchard. He said he would n’t have been able to get through Sarah’s death de ella without his children de ella and Di de ella.

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Simon and Di. Photo via The Sun

Understanding Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a rare type of blood cancer. When a person has this cancer, white blood cells called plasma cells (the cells that make antibodies to fight infections) in your bone marrow grow out of proportion to healthy cells.

Those abnormal cells leave less room for the healthy blood cells your body needs to fight infections. They can also spread to other parts of your body and cause problems with organs, like the kidneys.

The Multiple Phases of Multiple Myeloma

Myeloma is an incurable cancer, which means a person will always have this cancer. However, with treatment, it can go into remission and remain undetected for years. But sometimes, the cancer can return or relapse after treatment. If this happens, your doctor can put you on one of the treatments you have already tried again, try a new treatment or recommend that you enroll in a clinical trial.

SurvivorNet medical experts say that often times, people are diagnosed with this cancer after going to their doctor seeking an answer for persistent tiredness or other unusual symptoms, like in Sarah’s case.

Certain factors increase a person’s likelihood of getting multiple myeloma. These risk factors include things such as age (older people tend to get myeloma), family history, gender (men are at a higher risk for this cancer), race (Black people tend to have higher rates of this disease) and a condition called MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance).

MGUS is a condition named simply for the fact that a person has too much of an abnormal protein, called the monoclonal protein, in their bone marrow and blood. MGUS is rare, and the risk that it will turn into multiple myeloma is just 1% each year.

Making Myeloma Treatment Choices: SurvivorNet’s Carefully Constructed Resources

The next step to developing multiple myeloma is called smoldering myeloma, a disease that often comes before development of full-blown myeloma. In other words, it’s very close to becoming active myeloma, but doesn’t have any symptoms. It’s characterized by higher levels of abnormal proteins in the blood and plasma cells that make up greater than 10% of the bone marrow. The goal with smoldering myeloma is to keep the disease from becoming active.

The odds that either condition will become cancer are very small, but to be safe, your doctor will probably check you more closely with blood and urine tests, and sometimes a bone marrow biopsy — removing and testing a small sample of the spongy material inside your good.

Learn more about SurvivorNet’s rigorous medical review process.

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