smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM)
I was diagnosed on Halloween 2008 with smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM). By 2011, I needed a stem cell transplant. After about a year and a half, I started on maintenance drugs. I started out with Velcade and progressed over the years to immunotherapy drugs.
I had very few side effects from these drugs and had remained strong and active, but everything started to catch up with me in 2021. I was deemed to be a good candidate for CAR-T-cell therapy, and in February of 2022, I was admitted for treatment.
I was one of the few to be hit with extreme side effects and developed a neurotoxicity. I was in a non-responsive state for five days, and when I came out of it, I couldn’t walk. So, when my stay in the hospital ended, I was transferred to a rehab facility where I spent two and a half weeks learning to walk again. I left with the use of a rollator (walker), but three days later I fell and fractured my pelvis.
Twenty months later, I’m still in remission and feeling better than I have in years. My husband and I do a lot of traveling, and I’m able to keep up as well as any 73-year-old woman!