Suffering from back problems for years, I never dreamed that at the age of 42 I would be diagnosed with cancer. I was pretty healthy, though had become used to the fatigue that accompanies anemia. My back problems were not muscular but a vertebra that was fractured and collapsing. I figured that if I didn’t present with leukemia symptoms like my father, who passed away at the age of 45, I was in the clear after having been exposed to radiation in a small town in Colorado at the age of 4. Nope! My cells took on a different mutation and I had probably been living with MM for years while the tumors were eating away at my spine and other areas. With a grateful heart for a family member who is a doctor and who found a recommendation for a wonderful oncologist, I was started on an induction therapy of Velcade, Thalidomide, and Dex. I also went through two vertebral kyphoplasty surgeries to halfway repair what was left of one vertebra and repair one I broke two weeks after my first surgery. After 4 rounds of VTD, my numbers were awesome, and I have remained in that state and on a maintenance drug of Revlimid ever since (almost 7 years!). I am tested every 3 months to monitor and make sure I do not relapse. I don’t know what the future holds, but I am very thankful for my response thus far!

– Susan

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