My mom was diagnosed with MM the week before Christmas. She has 4-5 tumors on her spine and two very compromised areas with compression fractures. Currently she’s in a back brace and just finished two weeks of radiation and begins chemo next week. My parents still have not been told what stage it is and I’m puzzled why they don’t have this info. Any insights?

Hi, there are many bio-markers that have to be considered for staging with multiple myeloma, but--based on what you're saying along--the disease is advanced. If it is important for either considering a clinical trial or other purposes, you should ask her oncologist and insist on an answer. Where is she being treated? If you are anywhere in the area of Arkansas, I highly recommend getting at least a second opinion at the Multiple Myeloma Institute at UAMS in Little Rock. Multiple myeloma is a rare and serious cancer. At UAMS, they can fix those compression fractures very easily, and give your mother some much needed pain relief. MD Anderson also has a tremendous multiple myeloma program. I'll be praying for you, and if I can help please let me know. How do I know about MM? My 45-year-old husband died from it, and I wrote a book about our experience--things that went wrong, because the highly acclaimed treatment facility that was close to our home didn't know how to treat MM.

Look at and other sites that google will return. I am not a doctor, but from what you describe your mother is stage III based on the fact that she requires treatment. Don't compare MM to the tumorous cancers you hear more about. The "tumor" in MM is the concentration of malignant cells in the bone marrow determined from a bone marrow biopsy. Also, don't confuse the staging with traditional tumorous cancer staging. Again, I'm not a doctor, just a pt. But I do not believe that metastasis (signifying stage IV in other cancers) is an issue with MM. I would also recommend a 2nd opinion from a MM specialist. Many MDs who are not specialists appear to still be in the dark ages based on the advice given to many patients who contribute in the various discussion groups available on the web. I was told I have 3 years to live 2 years ago but my disease has not progressed, and my MM Oncologist expects me to live much longer. My condolences to you, your mom and your family and prayers that you find successful treatment.

great question. thanks for sharing.

Thanks everyone. She’s being treated at a teaching hospital by a hemitologist oncologist. I’m hoping she will be mobile enough to see Dr. B in West Hollywood at his MM clinic.