Never was cancer on my radar but somehow it managed to find me. After several months of not feeling just right and a few doctor and ER visits I was given a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma in July 2016. I had never heard of MM but it didn't take long to educate myself. I remember the first thing I read was typical life expectancy after diagnosis was 3 to 5 years, that was definately unacceptable to me and was certain I would NOT accept it.
I started treatment in Aug of 2016, changed Oncologist end of December of 2016 and was able to have a Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT)/Bone Marrow Transplant in May of 2017. Achieved remission and restarted living life, appreciating the second chance I was given.
We have been blessed with a growing family. We have 3 children and 8 grandchildren. Family time is always my favorite time and am grateful to be able to be a part of their lives and enjoy watching them grow.
At the end of 2020 my 6 month labs indicated that my remission was fading and was confirmed with a new BMB in February of 2021, with a higher cancer saturation in my bone marrow than in 2016. I was encouraged to restart treatment immediately to begin to gain control of this beast that found me again. This time the road has been a bit rougher and gaining control has been a struggle. I had 2 different Infusions in Spring of 2021 that I did not react well to. The decision was made to send me back to the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic to get more options on treatment. I was invited to be a part of a clinical Trial at which I declined at the time and instead opted for a dual drug treatment plan with hopes it would be get me ready for transplant by late fall or early winter. I started the new treatment plan in July but by the end of September I began to have experience some side effects [Afib and risk of blood clots] and made the decision again to suspend treatment. I had a new BMB in October, my cancer satuarion was still at 60% in my bone marrow.
After given a few other treatment options we moved forward with another infusion, at which I started in December 2021. After 3 infusions I had to suspend treament for a couple of months, first because I had close contact with someone with Covid and then I got Covid in late January. I finally was able to restart in March, after a few weeks my veins decided to stop cooperating and I had a port placed, it has made the infusion process easier and I seem to be responding well to the treatment and my hopes are I will be ready for a new transplant in the next couple to months. I will be restaged beginning the June and praying I can start prepping for transplant.
The journey this time has definately been a struggle and Covid absolutely has affected the length of time it has taken to get where I am now. The multiple trips for treatment, rising costs of gas and groceries, changes to my insurance plan inorder to control costs are in the "crazy how fast it adds up" category.
In 2016 the lions share of my Bone Marrow Transplant was taken care of by insurance, still leaving a fairly hefty price tag but manageble. I was in the hosptial 17 days and most was covered by my insurance.
The change now is that they set the limit on number of days they cover and any other days are on me. I will stay until my team decides it is safe for me to be released. The price tag is much higher but my hopes are I will achieve remission. I know I will conquer once again!
Thanks to the Bone Marrow BMCF for this opportunity and to those that support and pray for my restored health.
Any contributions made through the BMCF are tax deductable. Those funds will be availble to me, anything left over will be absorbed to the BMCF to help others. contributions can also be make to me directly through paypal@NaNaNeece or Venmo@Denise-Fluitt