Sipos, who lived in Riverside, consulted his longtime general practitioner who ordered blood tests which revealed an abnormally low level of iron.
Several years later, Sipos saw a podiatrist who told him that he had osteoarthritis, typically caused by wear and tear on joints.
The doctor told Sipos that his fatigue was the result of anemia and that he could easily be treated with an over-the-counter iron supplement he was supposed to take when he felt unusually weary.
The neurologist told Sipos that he suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome - numbness or tingling in the hands caused by a compressed nerve - as well as peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage outside of the brain and spinal cord.
At that point, Sipos recalled, the pain was so intense "the weight of the [bed] sheets would feel like my feet were being crushed." In a mostly failed attempt to deaden the pain, he wore braces on his wrists and ankles and took the hydrocodone opioid pain killer to make it through the day.
The test showed a "m spike," an indication that Sipos could have a precancerous condition, or possibly multiple myeloma, a rare cancer.
In early 2017, she referred Sipos to a specialist who treats blood disorders, who had suffered from frequent night sweats by then.
Based on those, Sipos said, she assured him there was no cancer but rather a precancerous condition called MGUS, short for undetermined significance monoclonal gammopathy.
Sipos said the doctor also carried out several biopsies of the bone marrow but the results were inconclusive.
The hematologist told Sipos he'd been free to look for a second opinion.
Sipos and his wife waited six weeks for consultation with Muhammad Omair Kamal, a medical oncology assistant professor at the Loma Linda University Cancer Center.
It was a struggle to transfer his records to Kamal in preparation for the appointment, Sipos said, requiring multiple phone calls from him and from Kamal's staff.
The stunned couple repeated what the hematologist had said for more than a year: that there was no cancer in Sipos, and that monitoring was the best course of action.
"You have cancer," Sipos recalls telling him.
Sipos called his insurance company, and asked for a transfer to Kamal; it was approved quickly.
Sipos, who sees a pain specialist, said that methadone was prescribed, "Take out the zing."
Read the original article "His anemia has been followed by searing pain in his foot.
Seventeen years later a stellar athlete learned what was wrong, in precarious shape." at https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/medical-mysteries/his-anemia-was-followed-by-searing-foot-pain-seventeen-years-later-in-precarious-shape-a-stellar-athlete-learned-what-was-wrong/2020/06/26/1acfdebe-95ec-11ea-82b4-c8db161ff6e5_story.html