A 24-hour urine collection kit is an important way of diagnosing and monitoring multiple myeloma. This test is relatively simple and completely painless (but incredibly inconvenient). It measures the amount of protein in your urine over a 24-hour period. Your doctor will provide you with a jug to begin urine collection. You will begin collecting in the morning and stop collection the following morning. Make sure to plan your day accordingly, as you will need to have that jug nearby every time nature calls. We recommend not doing any big activities that will have you out and about for long periods of time, like parades, sporting activities or big travel plans. Not only will that jug need to be nearby, but will also need to be kept refrigerator during that entire time. How To Collect On Day 1, urinate in the toilet bowl first thing in the morning. The next time you urinate you will begin collecting. In addition to the jug, your doctor will provide you with a "hat" to put over your toilet bowl to make urine collection a snap. Make sure to add all of your urine in the jug leaving none of it in the toilet. Throughout the rest of the day, collect all of your urine until the following morning. On Day 2, you will collect your first urine of the morning and you are done. Turn into your doctor's office that very same day. Remember to keep your urine collection jug refrigerated over your 24-hour collection. If you must leave the house, urinate prior to heading out. Or, if you must be gone for a longer period of time, consider packing your urine jug with you in a cooler bag or in an iced container. Also, stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of fluids. What they're checking for Bence Jones protein (free light chains) can be detected in the urine of some people with multiple myeloma. The 24-hour urine collection measures the total amount of Bence Jones protein related to the amount of tumor that is present. Either the kappa or lambda light chains (but not both in the same person) may be measured to help diagnose multiple myeloma and monitor the effectiveness of treatment. How often is the test performed? Your doctor may order this test as often as needed to diagnose and then monitor disease progression (or remission).
about the author
Lizzy Smith was diagnosed with myeloma in 2012 at age 44. Within days, she left her job, ended her marriage, moved, and entered treatment. "To the extent I'm able, I want to prove that despite life's biggest challenges, it is possible to survive and come out stronger than ever," she says.