I´m 45 years old, I´m married and have two sons. My story did not start with the diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma but the beginning was somewhere else ….. I do not know exactly where, in fact. I only know that diagnosis is a consequence. Simply the consequence on how much stress, problems in life we have, what is a sign of life and it is also about how we can achieve balance with unpleasant situations.

On the other side of the scale there is a pleasure. And the scale outbalanced a lot the other side at me. When I started to have problems (at that time I was not forty yet), the problems grew and I had to use depression drugs. But there were other problems, quite physical ones. There were often bits of temperature, headaches and spine pain. My GP told me many times that I had to relax and that I was only tired.

So several visits were repeated and diseases were added. One of those attacks (I could not stay straight, I was sick and I had been vomiting at that time) my employer even took me to my doctor personally. I got again a sickness leave for a week and valuable advice – no stress and rest a lot! However, it was easy to say but it was more difficult to realize.

It was not in my situation. I can see it completely different today. All it was possible but a man has to step up his priorities of life at that time it did not work. Another good advice of my doctor was: “This your temperatures are not temperatures – you know what, do not measure yourself and so”. But I did not measure myself so much. I did not have time for it. I simply felt the bit of temperature on myself. And I did not live comfortable with it. And this unbelievable situation was lasting three years. Then I had uncontrolled nose bleeding moment by moment and I could not get rid of it.

My friend arranged ENT examination for me at the University Hospital in Brno. When the doctor saw that the treatment absolutely did not work, he asked me when was the last time I had a blood examination. It was such a long time ago that I could not remember it. Finally I was showed the blood count. The results were absolutely not normal, but it was not the diagnosis yet. After nearly two weeks of various tests I had not thought about their existences before. They put a lot of pressure on me!

I was working in the evenings, days I spent in waiting rooms in different departments. After my second visit to the hematological department, I was told: “I´m afraid madam, you know, we do not seriously think about myeloma yet, you know, you are too young for this diagnosis.” My husband took me to hospital and neither of us knew what multiple myeloma was.  Just that it was very serious (as they said in the hospital). Something was said in the examination result. I held it in my hand and it was about the hematological department. At that time my husband told me that I should not have taken it personally “this oncological department.” Probably nowhere else they could do it.

Actually, what kind of disease I was told by my psychologist (and I can say not in a pleasant way at all). She came to me at the department when I had been there and my treatment had started. The situation was bad for my boss as well. No wonder. I was gone from day to day. I was working in a private company and I still continued to word there, in fact it was a normal situation in that time. I worked behind the counter, provided business agency, warehouse agenda, payrolls all accounting, sales returns, planning work for craftsmen and others. And the evening I did housekeeping. Who else? In fact, I was the only woman in the company.

The week-sickness leaves which my GP wrote me really did not help me at that time. All was waiting for me after my coming back I had to do everything. I stressed much more than before.

My husband and I wanted to buy a small house somewhere in the country for several years. I had just an impression that I would not able to carry on everyday situations in the city center. It was my dream, I had been dreaming nearly ten years but there was no success. We had an appointment for signing a mortgage in the afternoon that day when I was admitted for a treatment at The University Hospital Brno. The meeting did not take place and we wanted to withdraw from everything because I got an impression that my life was ending. We had “a subcontractor” for the construction site an older man who helped us.  My husband told him what had happened to me and he told my husband a wonderful thing: “take care of his wife while I´m building your house. Maybe after a half a year when you know how it really looks like and what the prognosis is like, we will tell one another if you keep the house or you sell it.”

It was actually a miracle in this situation, my husband was bearing my illness worse than me. He stopped talking, he was losing his weight and I knew, he was almost ruined. I had to sit down with him and discussed everything. I´m not a psychologist but I was successful in calming my husband down.

I was 42 years old and I did not want to die. One son was a university student, the other one graduating soon from secondary school.  My dream was already fulfilled, we both did so much for that. My family also supported me and made me feel a master of my house.

Simply and shortly – six months of chemotherapy, followed by autologous transplantation –  we made a decision that we were going to start building. Today, two and a half years after the transplant I´m sitting in the study room of our new house and I do not like to look back to that period. We have lived here for more than a year. It is wonderful. Here, every morning I go walking with our old dog to see horses. They have an area behind our house. I look at forests, meadows, sheepsand I´m, happy.  The myeloma will not get me, you can bet on it – I want to enjoy this for a long long time.

– Iveta

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