Monday, January 17, 2011

Myeloma Mondays #37: JoAnne from Moore, TX

***To add your story to Myeloma Mondays copy and paste this questionnaire (click here) and send it in an email to phil at cancerkicker dot org. I would love to share your story!

Where were you born and raised?
  • I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas
Where do you currently live?
  • My family and I live in Moore, Tx
When were you diagnosed and how old were you?
  • I was diagnosed July/03 about to turn 35
Did you know what MM was prior to diagnosis?
  • No
Is there anyone else your in family with MM?
  • No
What led to your diagnosis?
  • I was what felt like a crick in my neck. I went to a chiropractor to have it manipulated. He wanted to run x-rays before he did. To our suprise he took the x-rays and said he could not do it. He had me wait and sent me to get a catscan and MRI. I was so scared. He said he didnt want to scare me but that it was important for me to get this done immediately. Before I left his office they called from the Imaging place stating for me to be there first thing in the morning. As i left he told me to be very careful and to avoid any bumps. I cried all the way home. I went to my appt the next day. The doctor that types up the report came up to me and said I need you to go to the ER as soon as you get out of here. I did. Crying. I saw a neurosurgeon and said I had to have my C4 spine removed. I was lucky it hadnt collapsed cause there was no bone left. 3 days later I was in surgery. The biopsy came back that it was cancer(MM) . The c4 spine was removed and replaced with bone from my hip and fused to the c3 and c5.
How many times were you referred before actually being diagnosed?
  • Once
Where have you received treatment?
  • 2003-Cancer Treatment Center(CTRC)-San Antonio, Texas 2
  • 009-Methodist Transplant Hospital-San Antonio, Tx
Explain your treatment history (bulleted list)
  • 8/03: Radiation
  • 12/08:Radiation
  • 01/09:Chemo
  • 02/09: did a study to multiply my own stemcells, stem cell transplant 2/27/09. Have been on Revlimid for 4 months now.
Why did you or your doctor choose a specific treatment ?
  • I was told I was a good Candidate for the stemcell transplant due to me blood work and test coming back positive with the Revlimid.
What has been the side effects of the different treatments?
  • I have been very fortunate not to have any side effects from my meds.
What has been the hardest thing about your MM journey?
  • The hardest thing about my journey is that it is not my own. It has affected my family and my children. Its pretty sad when my 3 year old knows when I am having a bad day and she comes and rubs on my legs when I am having those excrutiating leg cramps or I am feeling under the weather. The cancer in my spine has damaged my nerves in my legs and their is nothing i can take to eleviate the pain., also the forgetfulness and taking all the meds i have to take everyday. There are days where I just want to throw them all the way, but if I want to live those pills are a must, so when you feel like you just cant or dont want to, look around you cause its for my family and myself that I keep fighting.
What are the top lessons learned that you would want a newly diagnosed MM patient to know about?
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. Write them down because when you get into the Dr.'s office your brain tends to run a mile a minute.
How have you been able to stay positive and encouraged in your MM journey?
  • I have managed to stay positive through my family. I have a great husband and wonderful children who have helped me. My daughters are still very young and I am fighting this darn disease cause they need me as much as I need them. Its also through the grace of God that I am still here.
After being diagnosed... What perspective was changed the most?
  • That life is short and enjoy every minute of it cause every minute you waste worrying and empowering this darn disease is time lost.
Did you or a parent work in a field with or were exposed to toxic chemicals prior to diagnosis?
  • No
What MM sites or blogs had you found good information from after diagnosis?
  • Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I am impressed once more by this posting of how important it is for people to push their doctors for more complete answers when a continuous pain in an otherwise healthy-appearing body does not resolve after a week or so.

Thanks for this good work you do in education about MM and the importance of 'Domination!"