I can’t write about multiple myeloma patients who have endured tough times, yet survived to feel good and strong and normal again, without mentioning my dear fried Barb Davis. Barb lives with her husband, Fatih, in the Twin Cities. She was diagnosed in May, 2007 and underwent a stem cell transpant (SCT) at the U of Minnesota in Dec. 2007. There were complications. Her initial induction treatment with Revlimid damaged her liver. Following the transplant, Barb suffered an adverse reaction to some of her medication. She was hospitalized for weeks. I remember speaking with her during that time. Barb swore she would rather die than go through another SCT. I felt so bad for her—she really had a rough time. When I e-mailed Barb to ask permission to write about her story, she responded in completely different way. I would like to share her feelings with you now:
“…And while I KNOW I told you I’d never do it (another SCT) again, I now declare that statement to be null and void. I WOULD do it again, if I had to. My life since the transplant has been full of such grace, love, joy and rich experiences, that I can’t imagine not suffering a bit to get this fabulous gift. But I doubt I’ll have to, as it seems there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t get some news about promising new drugs… And yes, I have thoroughly enjoyed so many wonderful trips. My next is coming up at the end of this month…10 days cruising the Galapagos Islands with my daughter. It’s been on my bucket list for quite a while, and this is a good time to go.”
Barb travels yearly with Fatih to Turkey—his native land. Barb is confident, caring and direct. She has embraced her life after multiple myeloma. Ever an optimist, Barb emerged from the other side of her ordeal a stronger, better woman. I can clearly recall a conversation we shared several moths ago, when Barb compared her SCT to childbirth. “While you are going through it, you swear you will never do it again!” she said. But then she added that “As the months and years pass by, you forget the pain and just appreciate the blessings on the other side.”
Hey Barb—you go girl! Enjoy your cruise to the Galapagos. My mother visited there a few years ago and said it was an amazing experience!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat