Where to begin? 2017 was a roller coaster for me. It started with the thrill of surpassing my "reach" fundraising goal for the 2017 race (THANK YOU EVERYONE!), celebrating 12 years cancer free, buying our first home (after 3 years and 13 offers), and focusing on my toddler and family. Then just around race time last year I learned I had a plasmacytoma in my nose. This is basically a solid tumor of myeloma cells. So yeah, cancer's back. Spent June freaking out, July having surgery, August recovering and Sept/Oct having radiation 5 days a week, and finished the year by getting just about every cold/flu possible.
2018 though has me feeling optimistic! No colds/flus yet (knock on every piece of wood in arm's reach), and most importantly my follow-up scans show no evidence of disease--no cancer, YAY! Caveat is the doctors feel the likelihood of a relapse is practically guaranteed, but that's for another day's worries.
Another reason I feel optimistic this year is learning about the amazing research this race has been supporting over the past 5 years at Fred Hutch. Thanks in part to our fundraising efforts last month the first myeloma patient received a brand new immunotherapy treatment as part of a clinical trial using CAR-T cells. This is the super personalized high-tech treatment where some of a person's immune cells are taken out of their body, modified to be hyper-focused on killing myeloma cells, and then reinfused to the patient. Even 2 years ago this was a pipe dream, so to see this therapy in use is wonderful and makes me feel proud to have been a part of it's creation through the dollars raised through Defeat Multiple Myeloma Run/Walk.
So as we head into a new year my step is light and I'm forward focused. I am 34 years old and I have a lot planned for the next 34 years of my life. I'm committed to working harder than ever to support promising myeloma research to find a cure for this disease. My "to do" list gets longer by the day and I plan to be around to complete it!
Please donate to my fundraising efforts--100% of your donation will directly support myeloma research at Fred Hutch.