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Jessica’s Multiple Myeloma Story

Jessica's multiple myeloma story

“Cancer.” What came to mind when you read that word? Whatever it was, add fear, shock, anger, confusion, numbness. That’s what it feels like when you hear that word come out of your doctor’s mouth; you’re flooded with a million emotions. Jessica was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is a cancer of the blood, and she opened up about her multiple myeloma story and diagnosis, “When I heard that I needed to be referred to a hematologist I was terrified it meant cancer. I had elevated proteins in my blood that could be normal for me or could progress to cancer. When I was diagnosed, 2 years ago, my stage was smoldering myeloma. Not 1-4. I felt stressed and fearful because It’s an uncommon cancer for a woman my age at 43. There was no cure, just remission. I was told it was more of a chronic disease. I had labs done every 3 months for 2 years watching and waiting. So far that was the hardest part. Not knowing. When my cancer markers steadily increased, which lead to treatment it was a relief. I was still scared. I have 3 children and great husband that I want to spend my life with for many more years. This has changed our lives as a family and the GiveForward fundraiser is amazing and a huge support.”

Diagnosis is just the beginning of the battle. Jessica shared one of her hardest moments when dealing with her cancer, “Having such bad bone pain during my first round of chemo that I had to wake up my husband and 8-year-old daughter to take me to the ER at 4:30am. It was the most helpless and vulnerable I have felt. My daughter watched me be hooked up to monitors, writhe in pain, and break down and cry.”

So how do you counter those hardships? Support. Find your support system, the people, places, and things that you can fall back on in your greatest time of need. Jessica said her support system was, “My husband, kids, family, great neighbors, friends, co-workers, The Huntsman Cancer Institute, and saltine crackers.”

In addition to support, finding inspiration can help. Jessica shared a quote that she uses as inspiration, “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – A.A. Milne”

You aren’t in this fight alone. Jessica opened up with some advice for others who are also going through cancer, or another illness, “What I have learned is each person’s battle is their own. Whatever side effects, emotions and fears you have are true to you. Don’t let anyone talk you out of what is real to you and ask for support. I was told I wouldn’t feel that bad, and many people still work while in my treatment. That wasn’t true for me and it made me question myself. I do feel sick and cannot work. That is my truth. Tell your medical team anything you are worried about, ask lots of questions and make sure you understand the answers. Talk to other patients and survivors. Accept help.”
Accept help. Jessica’s words ring true. People are willing to help, you just have to allow them to. Jessica shared with us one of the nicest things someone has done for her when she was going through her difficult time, “My work creates a chemo themed gift for each week of treatment written in the song of the First day if Christmas, replaced with the ___ week of chemo PES (the department I work in at Primary Children’s Hospital) gave to me……Week 5s theme was 5 golden years at my job. With a basket of gifts all having to do with gold, including my own personal Little Golden Book with thoughtful personal writings about me from my co-workers. Very thoughtful. I am a Pediatric Nurse and it’s hard to now be a patient. I miss my job and co-workers. I had no idea the effect the financial loss would have on our family and there is more to come staying inpatient. I am so grateful, blessed, touched and amazed at the support I have received from the GiveForward fundraiser my husband set up. I will pay it forward in time.”

If you would like to learn more about Jessica’s story and follow her journey through cancer, you can check out her GiveForward page here.

Whose world will you change?