What is myeloma?


A couple of evenings ago, Stefano referred to myeloma as an “illness.”


Well, today I would like to ask my blog readers: do you agree with him? (for my Italian readers: secondo voi, il mieloma è una malattia?) Just curious. Then I will tell you the rest of the story. 🙂


  1. Margaret, I apologize for “talking” so much lately but I actually questioned that as I was blogging with you yesterday. I referred to cancer as a disease and questioned it as I was writing. I looked it up on the internet to make sure and it did refer to cancer as a disease rather than an illness. There may be other references out there that say differently. I’m curious too! Thanks, Donna

  2. I think of MM as being a disease.

    “Illness” is a word that brings to mind poor health and feeling icky. II went to dictionary.com to better define the ickiness I’m trying to describe. American Heritage says illness is, “Poor health resulting from disease of body or mind; sickness.”

    Their definition of disease is, “A pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.”

    I know I have a disease, but I don’t feel ill. When people say, “I’m so sorry to hear that you’re sick,” I always reply that I’m not!

  3. Hi

    Now if it was one of those questions you answered without thinking and I was having a positive day. I would say it was another of those life challenges you had to over come, if I think about it then the answer is more difficult, I suppose I would have to say a diesease.


  4. I’ve struggled with trying to understand what myeloma is, a disease, an illness, or an accident. Disease and illness have pejorative connotations: they threaten individuals and may even undermine a species. Why me, I wonder?

    It’s hard to be mad about it because it originated within me. There is no conclusive evidence it was caused by my exposure to toxins in the environment. Essentially, it is a mutation of my own cells.

    Isn’t it the nature of the life force to change and evolve? Obviously, the plasma cell’s mutated structure, in the instance of myeloma, makes them dysfunctional and, therefore, deadly to me. Evolution is a messy process. It seems logical that disease can result from disorders caused by mutations.

    Like Beth, I am not ill, at least not from the myeloma. The treatments to suppress the mutated plasma cells have been the cause of my discomfort.

    Your question would make for a good discussion amongst medical anthropologists. And, patients should be allowed to participate. I’ll agree with Francesco; it is an accident that leads to a disease that causes one to feel ill. LOL, how’s that for a copout?

    I’ve tried to talk about this. Here is a video where I muse about mortality.


  5. I agree with other comments that illness as a manifestation of disease resulting in discomfort. The state of discomfort does not have to apparent to the person with the disease. For example one could have a mental illness and not know it. 🙂

    That being said, myeloma is obviously a disease that could cause illness. It could also cause many other responses which one would not call illness. Despite the insidious devious and often debilitating nature of myeloma I would classify it as having an overall positive effect on my state of well being. Just because it will probably shorten my life expectancy does not mean less fulfillment, laughter or joy. I live a richer, fuller more peaceful life than I did pre-diagnosis. There are more fire drills. They seem to be less traumatic. That being said there must be a fine wavy line traveling between illness and blessing.

  6. H’mm
    Good question,3 months into this I’m still coming to grips with this disease,however if vitamins,curcumin ,stress,diet,prayer,faith and
    mind control may bear some leverage upon this disease I cant see
    how this is an illness. Its a immune system gone haywire for whatever
    reason.Now can we correct this ,or turn this off,thats the question

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