My story of MM starts with a trip to the doctor for a routine physical. As part of my checkup, a CMP was drawn which showed an elevation in my protein level. I was called by the doctor who indicated she wanted me to have further tests because this elevation is seen in those with MM…a type of Cancer!! I was shocked, but thought to myself that so many advances have been made in the field of cancer…what were the chances this was a type of cancer which was unable to be cured?? The year was 2013. I was diagnosed with MGUS.

From there I established care with my oncologist. He informed there was about a 1% (cumulative) chance annually of converting to MM….not bad, I thought…in 30 years I would have a 30% likelihood of advancing to active disease and by then I would be 80 years old!! I blew those odds out of the water and was diagnose with smoldering myeloma in 2015!!

I entered a clinical trial, only to be placed in the control group of observation and progressed to active myeloma in 2017…began treatment (again in a clinical trial and, once again, placed in the control group of standard treatment). A stem cell transplant was performed over Christmas 2017 and I am currently recovering from that and beginning maintenance therapy. I can only hope and pray for continued advances in medicine to either cure this disease or make it a chronic disease which is highly treatable. I search for avenues to share with others to generate support. Programs such as Donate a Photo, Compute for Cancer, Mission Myeloma are just a few of the organizations funding research to search for cancer cures and spread the word about needed research. Pray hard and live each day to the fullest…we never know what life has in store for us!!

—Paula K.