I was diagnosed in 1996 at the age of 36. I was very young at the time to be diagnosed with MM. I had just had my second child and a portion of my back kept feeling numb. I thought it was from holding the baby. I went to the doctor and after an xray and blood tests it was determind that my protein was elevated. Further testing determined MM.

I had never heard of MM. I thought they were talking about Melanoma. I was sent to a hematologist who confirmed the MM and was then sent to a specialist. I was really at the beginning stages… more of an MGUS. I went for many opinions and they all confirmed the same thing. As time passed the levels changed ( I am IGG Kappa) and my IGG kept creeping up slowly. It was then determined that I was in a Stage 1.

Now fast forward 18 years and I am still in a stage 1. My IGG fluctuates between 3500 and 4200. I have had no treatment other than Aredia which was stopped a few years ago. I have harvested my cells for a future transplant if needed. I go every 6 months for a follow up and have a skeletal survery once a year. I remain a stage 1 at 54 years old and hope and pray that old age gets me way before MM does. Many of the MM friends I made back when I was diagnosed are gone.

It is comforting to know that the treatments they have now are much more advanced and although there is not a cure yet… and I emphasize yet because I know there will be one soon, people are living much longer and MM has become more of a chronic illness. I just wish some of those friends were still here to see the changes. I know MM effects everyone differently. I have been extremely lucky and I am thankful every day for that. I pray for long remissions and cures for everyone with MM.

— Debra S. 

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