My mother died in December 2019, I mourned for her. COVID-19 hit and I started to feel tired, worn out, and my back hurt in a way that meant I needed to go see the chiropractor. So, I made an appointment in May 2020. My doctor did blood tests, and then I received the dreaded call. She said, “Shawnda, we think you have multiple myeloma, it’s a rare blood cancer, but we need to do other tests to confirm. It’s not curable but treatable.” I hung up in shock, I thought, Cancer, seriously?!
I had a PET scan, bone biopsy, and 24-hour urine catch. On August 6, 2020, it was confirmed that I had multiple myeloma. I went through 4 months of chemotherapy; 2 shots a week in my stomach and a nightly pill. My blood work started to look better, and after a few trips to the St. Louis oncologist, I was eligible for a stem cell transplant. So, after 4 rounds of chemotherapy, I received my transplant in December 2020. In April, I had a post bone marrow biopsy, and there were minimal cancer cells.
I’ve been out of the hospital 5 months now; on maintenance therapy, and regaining my strength. Some days are harder than others but I fight with all that I have. I will celebrate my 50th birthday in June. I’m not ready to give up. I want others to watch for signs of this terrible disease, but with proper care and treatment anyone can surpass the life expectancy. I have met a few women who are fighting the same battle, and we’ve formed a beautiful friendship. Whatever battle any woman is going through, I encourage you to not give up. Don’t ever get up!
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.