Looking back it would be difficult to identify when I first contracted Myeloma. It seems fair to say it was around before I noticed my shoulder back last December.
Multiple Myeloma begins when cells in the bone marrow are subjected to external factors which might be environmental or chemical in origin and may be linked to weight and genetics. It is linked to another otherwise benign condition MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance). This produces a large amount of paraproteins (antibodies) but does not need treatment. I am unaware of having contracted this condition. However, in some cases it goes on to produce cancer in a small number of people.
Multiple Myeloma is more common in males, but less common in Caucasians, it affects relatively few people under 70.
The effect of the damaged Myeloma Cells is to damage rather than heal the bones so when damage occurs the cells exacerbate it rather than heal.
Over the past 20 months or so there have been a number of issues which may have been the origin.
In November of 2015 I was walking along the upper corridor at school – it was the end of break. Three year 9 boys were messing about – they were quite large boys and in the process one of them bashed into me hard. The process wrenched my left arm hard. The boys were not being wilfully violent but were nonetheless given a telling off for stupidity and punished accordingly (detention).
In the following days the arm remained painful, migrating up the arm and across the shoulder.
By January I noticed the pain had transferred to my right shoulder and gown my right arm. I assumed this must have been a response to overuse of one set of muscles.
In February I noticed some rib pain on the right hand side. The pains were definitely moving about. Later that month I decided to start running again, but managed only a couple of km before pulling up. I had severe back pain, possibly sciatica. For many weeks I was affected and in the end only able to overcome it with a daily dose of diclofenac.
Things quietened for a while but on our return to the UK in the summer of 2016 I developed a pain again in the left arm. This affected me throughout my time in Britain and made it virtually impossible for me to drive whilst I was over. There continued to be rib pain too.
The Autumn of 2016, saw a series of sickness bugs and a general feeling of unwell and then in December my shoulder began to play up. This continued to be an issue throughout the early part of 2017 before I finally arrived in Nairobi at Easter and got my diagnosis.