(NC) Norma Lindner has multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the plasma cells found in the bone marrow. Annually, over 2,700 Canadians are diagnosed with this disease. Myeloma cancer affects every patient differently, making it difficult to treat.
In 2012, Lindner was 56 years old, in good health and very active. She saw her doctor for an annual exam, and blood test results showed severe anemia. Further blood tests, bone scans, and a bone biopsy led to the diagnosis of multiple myeloma —– a cancer she’d never heard of.
With no time to process this life-changing event, Lindner started chemo treatment immediately to prepare me for the standard induction treatment — a stem cell transplant. Within a week of starting chemo treatment, she began to feel sick and fatigued.
“Recovery from the transplant was arduous and like a roller coaster,” Lindner explains. “I felt good one day and then back in bed for a week the next. It took me five months to recover enough to travel out of the country. Sadly, after an 18 month remission, I relapsed and had to start a new chemo regimen. My reality now is that I’ll be dependent on chemo treatments to keep my myeloma cancer at bay for the rest of my life.”
Multiple myeloma patients are constantly chasing the next treatment, working against time not just to extend their lives but to sustain a decent quality of living. The stakes are high. With this disease, relapses do occur making it critical that new and effective treatments are made available to patients.
“Living with an incurable disease has taught me to cherish the moment and to be thankful. Having the support of my husband, I started a local myeloma support group to help others like me in my area. I encourage patients to seek out support and to look for other helpful resources including Myeloma Canada’s website. The may not be curable yet, but the emotional impact can be.”
Find more information at www.myeloma.ca.