In March of 2006 my husband, 56 years old, and I learned of his multiple myeloma diagnosis after almost year dealing with treatment for what was thought to be a hamstring pull. Although I had researched multiple myeloma on the internet while waiting for the test results, it did not prepare us for what was to follow.

And so the journey began. Two healthy people who rarely visited a doctor to a life immersed in testing, hospitals, doctor offices, and waiting.

The good news was my husband had a very understanding boss, good insurance, and the helpful IMF packet that I requested helped me better understand the disease, treatments, and gave some hope that he may have longer to live than the two to five years given to us initially by the oncologist. The journey has also led us to meet some wonderful people. Wonderful doctors, nurses and hospital staff. Courageous cancer survivors, cancer patients, and compassionate caregivers.

Multiple myeloma has been an unwanted teacher but has taught us how to better live our lives focusing on the present, deepening our spiritual life, and deepening our understanding of what is important in life and for that we are deeply grateful.

Gary is currently on Dex/Velcade following a three year chemo rest as a result of stem cell transplant. The fallout from radiation treatments and mulitple myeloma’s attack on the spine cause daily pain which seem more a battle now than myeloma itself.

I am happy to see the increased awareness which is leading to earlier detection and diagnosis so multiple myeloma patients now may be able to forego the handicapping bone damage before beginning treatment.

— Amy