In 1989 I wanted to know my cholesterol level. At that time I worked as a food journalist and our recipes were full of butter, cream, yolks – pure cholesterol. I told my boss that we should take into account the sedentary lifestyle nowadays and should reduce these ingredients. The outcome of the argument was that – not knowing my own cholesterol-level – I went to my doctor and had a blood sample taken. He included an electrophoresis in his laboratory description. This was how I found out that I was a potential MM patient.

14 years I more or less faithfully went in for the routine exams. In 2000 I was admitted to the hematological ward for treatment, but they considered my situation did not require immediate action right away and I went home again. In 2003 the values required therapy. I changed hospital during the first part of my treatment since I was not happy with the way I was addressed as a patient. I moved and have stayed with the institution where I was administered the standard treatment with a tandem autologous stem-cell transplant.

I never had any doubt I would reach a complete remission. This was the case for the consecutive 8 years. I was able to continue working as a food journalist, I became grandmother and finally retired. During these years I became more and more involved with Patient’s Advocacy and Patients’ Groups and finally became vice-president of the Austrian Multiple Myeloma Association founded by our memorable pioneer Elke Weichenberger.

In 2011 my treating physician, Dr. Heinz Ludwig, suggested a second round of chemotherapy. After 9 cycles I had again regained complete remission – which is my present situation. I had to step in as president of our Group in 2011 – which shows that the treatment had been successful. My motto is: I am healthy as a principle. And: I believe in the power of a smile and positive thinking.

– Elfi

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