Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia is a rare type of slow-growing, non-hodgkin lymphoma.
(a cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system)
It causes overproduction of a protein called monoclonal immunoglobulin M (IgM or “macroglobulin”) antibody.
Symptoms include weakness, swollen lymph nodes, severe fatigue, nose bleeds, weight loss, and visual and neurological problems;
• Waldenström macroglobulinemia is diagnosed using bone marrow biopsy and blood tests.
• Treatments for Waldenström macroglobulinemia in patients with symptoms may include plasmapheresis, chemotherapy, and/or biological therapy.
This is what I was disgnosed with back in November of last year.
For the last 6 months I have been living with a rare cancer of the blood, riding the emotional roller-coaster between:
denial, acceptance, anger and sadness, plus many trips to the Hospital for many blood tests and various treatments (including chemotherapy).
I have now been through 6 cycles of chemotherapy with only a limited success in treating the disorder.
Due to the limited success - I am now due to undertake a "more aggresive" round of Chemotherapy starting on 5th June.
This will consist of 2 consecutive days of chemotherapy every 28 days, for 6 cycles - using a more advanced chemical:
Bendamustine hydrochloride (a cytotoxic anticancer drug).
I had to wait for approval as this drug is not commonly available for treatment in Australia under the standard Medicare/PBS regime.
Unfotunately at present, Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia (WM) is not curable, only treatable.
No one knows what causes it - however it has been known to run in familes.