“We have been living with Multiple Myeloma since 2005.”

            - Peter and Ruth

archive of old-ish news

December 5th 2011

Ultrasound at the Repat.

Doctors say lump on my head is a cyst.

Shock results ! Ultrasound says it’s not.

December 6th zometa infusion at Box Hill Hospital.

Ruth was there for company, that’s her cup of tea on the left.

January 17th 2012 at the Radiation Oncology unit at the Repat. Hospital in Melbourne. (check out that LUMP on my noggin !!)

This is my simulation session where they get everything aligned and start designing the actual radiation treatment.

I was face down for about 40 minutes, the staff were really great, keeping me informed and making the experience as easy as possible for Ruth and I.

January 18 2012, Zometa infusion and my first Velcade as well at the Box Hill Hospital Oncology day ward.

Due to confusion with the prescription I was there for 3 hours but it felt good to get the Velcade under way.

Follow up CT scan on December 12 is a side view of my skull (see my eye socket on the left?).

It reveals a myeloma lesion that extends from within the skull outwards onto my scalp and also inwards a little but is not pushing on my brain.

I can hear you thinking “what brain?” which is very funny of course, and OK I agree my skull looks empty in this scan but if there is no brain there, then how am I typing this sentence ? Hmm ? :-)

Christmas / New year 2011 / 2012

Time out at our farm meant time for writing too, a wonderful setting for personal chemistry !

Ruth has a seemingly endless supply of journals and diaries that she has kept since high school. Her entries from our Myeloma period provide revealing insights into her experience and our triumphs and trials.

Feb 14th, it’s Ruth’s turn being examined as a follow-up consult for the Breastscreen Victoria program. Very considerate and thorough exam, thanks to the team at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne.

Ruth has gone a long way to empathise with me but I am glad that the exam results were - no cancer, just a small benign cyst !

Feb 03 2012 - different room at the Box Hill day ward ... dose 3 of cycle 1, Velcade.

Flash-forward to February 15th ... blood test results from the first Velcade cycle.

Great result, PP levels drop from 30 to 16, it’s working !

Ruth and I are very happy.

Two great results in the same week, one each !

Oh yes, also ... Velcade has made my famous head lump go away so the radiotherapy is not needed either, yay for that too.

Peter Webb & Ruth Williams’


March 15 2012 - Above is a graph of the paraprotein levels in my blood from diagnosis to now. Clearly at first it was at major freak-out levels and provided an explanation as to why I had been feeling so unwell. The flat spot is the “remission” after my stem cell transplant. It’s not a true remission in the sense that the disease is still there but at undetectable levels meaning that the strong likelihood is that it will breed back up at some future date. Mine was obviously early 2008 when you can see it ramp up. Medical wisdom is to balance treatment with quality of life so the PP levels were allowed to slowly rise while being controlled by as much drug dosage as I could happily tolerate. We don’t know why levels dropped mid 2010 but I did also change labs at that point which could be part of it. Late 2011 you can see the rate rise ramp up steeply - that’s what it looks like when the disease stops responding to the drug. As you know from previous posts, I then went on intravenous VELCADE which clearly is working very well, halving levels each cycle for the last two months.