Happy stem cell birthday to me!

My immune system is six years old today! πŸ’•πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰ I wrote thank you notes to my doctors.

I wrote the following in 2018:

I experienced leg pain and weakness for a couple of months before a blood test sent me to the emergency room. Dr. P. diagnosed me in October, 2015, with primary plasma cell leukemiaβ€”a rare and aggressive form of cancer. I was hospitalized for three weeks in October, and again in November, for intensive chemotherapy. I had four more rounds of chemo at home while waiting for a stem cell donor.

Just before Christmas, I learned that a 100% matching donor had been found. I received a stem cell transplant at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in March, 2016. Dr. P(a) followed up with me closely. Beating the odds, I have been in complete remission ever since. I continue to see Dr. B. and the Anderson team as I taper off medications.

I’ve been hospitalized a few times in the last two years for treatment side effects. I continue to be treated for kidney dysfunction, contributing to anemia and high blood pressure. Yet I celebrate the amazing fact that I am alive. My husband, Nicholas, has been a mainstay, riding the rollercoaster with me. My family and friends stepped in to help to a degree I never expected.

I am grateful to LLS for funding research that leads to better treatments so that patients like me can survive and thrive.


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