Today I’m pleased and excited to announce a new, hopefully regular contributor to our patient perspective site. Famous–some might even venture to say “infamous”–myeloma survivor and online friend to so many of us, suzierose, has agreed to share her passion and wisdom here at MMB.
I have “known” suzierose for a long time. Her helpful and passionate give-and-take with patients and caregivers in a number of different forums is legendary. But other that the fact she’s a myeloma patient, too, I really didn’t know much about her. So I asked suzierose (the way she signs her name–no caps) to share a little bit about herself.
For a woman known to write two and three page answers to questions from her fellow patients, it was like pulling teeth to get her to talk about herself. But I’m persistent! Here’s what she had to say:
I retired in 2001 after a career that spanned 20 years with four global pharmaceutical companies in the areas of sales/marketing, labelling, safety surveillance, and medical information in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular, infectious disease, oncology, HIV, rheumatology and psychotherapeutics. I was diagnosed with myeloma in Sept 2011 following a routine annual physical. My sub-type of myeloma is classified as ultra high-risk, as I have 4 chromosomal variants that are negative prognostics, including 17p, 1q gain, t(14:16) and 1p. Despite this ‘aggressive’ form of myeloma, I was completely symptomless when diagnosed. My X rays told a different story as my skull is the poster child prototype of myeloma; numerous diffuse lesions, yet I am classified as ISS I. I am a graduate of the University of Michigan and have a doctorate in pharmacology from Wayne State University. I am an avid reader. A few authors I have enjoyed include Malcolm Gladwell, Ken Follett, Lisa Kleypas, David Baldacci, Johanna Lindsey, Alexander Dumas, Joel Osteen. Most importantly, I have been D’Jango’s Brunhilda for over 3 decades and we have 2 children.
That explains a lot. A medical background that’s so evident in her writing. And a passion and edginess (I might feel that way if I were diagnosed as “ultra high-risk,” too!) and her attention to detail.
I asked suzierose to send me a picture of herself. This is what she passed-along to post:
The caption read:
I am happy with these pics for now..I have a book, on the beach and in my best color..red.
Pretty well preserved for a retired gal, don’t you think? She’s writing as “Myeloma Cinderella.” I will run her first column tomorrow. Let’s hope the first of many.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat