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06
Mar
Paul Cabban - a 2017 update

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • paulcabban

It is now seventeen and a half years since I was diagnosed with myeloma. I was 57 years old at the time, very active and a keen runner, although not particularly fast. I was taking part in events up to and including marathons.

“My Journey” was featured in the spring 2015 edition of Journey and detailed my treatment up until then.

To summarise, on diagnosis following the usual blood tests, x-rays and bone marrow tests, it was decided that I should be a “watch and wait” case. I continued to have regular monitoring for nine years before blood tests indicated that treatment was needed. I had still not had any typical symptoms.

Initially, I had a course of thalidomide with the usual enhancements - cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone. This was followed by an autologous stem cell transplant.

I had no further treatment for three years and the next phase was the myeloma 10 trial with velcade as the primary agent. Unfortunately, although this was successful, it left me with quite severe peripheral neuropathy in my feet.

After two years, further treatment was needed and this time I was put on revlamid (lenalidomide). This has proved very successful and, following the initial course, I have been maintained for two and a half years on a lower dose of the revlamid and blood results are still good.

As previously described in “My Journey”, I consider myself very fortunate in that I have been able to live a pretty normal life, although the chemotherapy courses were rather inconvenient at the time.

During the last seven and a half years, my wife and I have continued to enjoy holidays abroad as well as in the UK. We have been on five cruises in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Baltic Sea; villa holidays in Spain and a two-week trip to Sri Lanka. Travel insurance can be more difficult to obtain and more expensive, but there are several companies offering cover to those of us with pre-existing medical problems.

Back in 2012, whilst enduring the velcade treatment, I was informed that I had been nominated to carry the Olympic torch. At the time, the neuropathy in my feet made this look an unlikely hope, but in the end I did manage to do so on the local Hastings seafront.

I still keep fit by walking each day with our very active Cocker Spaniel, and we also take part in the local 5k Parkrun (park-walk!) every Saturday morning. I am an active member of our local church and also involved with town twinning activities which include visits to Belgium and the Netherlands. I also work on twinning with our namesake town of Hastings in Sierra Leone, but have not yet visited there.

I do suffer some loss of balance and instability when walking, possibly linked to the prolonged revlamid treatment or possibly my age (75).

My advice to anyone diagnosed with myeloma is: keep as fit as you can and remain positive and hopeful. Myeloma may not be curable yet, but it can be controlled much better nowadays due to the rapid advances in treatment protocols and new medication.

You can read Paul's original story here

Read Comments

  • Comment by...
    Janet Burr March 31 at 4:13pm

    I haven't seen you for years Paul but it's good to see you looking so well. Gill keeps me up to date ! Well done you, for staying so positive and active. Our friend has exactly the same as you and I will ask him if he would like to read your journey, to give him some encouragement. Do hope life will continue to be good to you now. You have had more than your fair share !!

  • Comment by...
    Janet Burr March 31 at 4:14pm

    I haven't seen you for years Paul but it's good to see you looking so well. Gill keeps me up to date ! Well done you, for staying so positive and active. Our friend has exactly the same as you and I will ask him if he would like to read your journey, to give him some encouragement. Do hope life will continue to be good to you now. You have had more than your fair share !!

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  • Published: Mar 2017