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Inspirational Stories


multiple myeloma (MM)

I went out to ring in 2023 on New Year’s Eve telling everyone it would be MY year, a time to celebrate new projects and dreams I had been conjuring. A simpler life. Days later, I developed pneumonia, bronchitis, severe muscle pain, and then heart failure from all of it. In March, an x-ray that was supposed to look at my chest for heart failure instead showed lesions and holes from my pelvis to my rib cage, a sign of advanced multiple myeloma (MM) which was confirmed weeks later. I had no idea what it was or what it meant, but luckily, I had friends who were fighting cancer who helped comfort and lead me to better answers than Google.

I read through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) website, and a friend helped me get a smart, reassuring second opinion with UCLA with the help of LLS. I've had a round of radiation and am on my fifth cycle of chemotherapy. Navigating the appointments, records, insurance, disability, and financial sides of having cancer is something no one is prepared for. Understanding risks and side effects is also confusing for a newly diagnosed patient. That's all separate from the emotional and physical toll it takes. No one can prepare you for this journey. Here is the bright light ― I've met some of the kindest people ― others going through this and people who want to help. Anyone I've met at or through LLS has been so genuinely kind and smart, and good advice is the ultimate gift you can give a person who is searching to heal. I have hope that at 58, I am young and strong enough to get through all the possible treatments for MM and that new drugs will eventually change it from incurable to chronic.

in memory - blood cancer