I was a very active single, high energy woman. Working as a government contractor along with a private practice. A blood test was requested by my primary care physician that showed increased levels of the myeloma protein. The next step was a visit with a hemotology/oncology specialist.

For the next few years my blood levels were monitored and eventually moved from smoldering myeloma to a full diagnosis of mutiple myeloma. A tumor was located in my pelvic area and radiation now was necessary to eradicate the tumor. I was informed that I would need a Stem Cell Transplant following the radiation. After approximately 24 days of radiation, I now was being prepared for stem cell harvesting. Three sets of stem cells were drawn. Following the transplant, I was experiencing severe pain spasms that caused concerns with the medical team. Following the twenty four days of the inpatient stem cell transplant, I was home for one month and was told I needed another stem cell transplant. I was not feeling well at this time but agreed to the second transplant.

Today I am in my sixth year post transplant. I play golf with a woman’s golf league and bowl with a woman’s league. To build my strength, I joined a gym and had a personal trainer work with me. I do have good and bad days but am grateful for my medical team that supported me throughout the diagnosis, the stem cell transplants and continue to be extremely supportive. I am currently on oral chemo drugs.

I do have to admit that initially I was frightened of the word cancer. Being childless and without a family, the only support I had was from my medical team. My work had kept me traveling which left me without any close relationships. As I look back, I can honestly say that having a medical team I trusted, this entire diagnosis, treatment and “recovery” has been a blessing from God. I am looking forward to adding on to my six years of recovery.

— Joan T.


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