I

f you can call someone who gets a rare form of cancer lucky, then Deb Graff says she fits the bill.

At age 72, Graff has survived nine years with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer whose life expectancy used to be measured in months.

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  • When I learned I had MM in January of 2003, I asked my doctor, “Am I going to get old?” His reply was, “I think so. But it ain’t gonna be easy.”
    He was right, but I’m still here. Thanks for this article, STAT.

  • Great article-how wonderful for her! I was diagnosed with MM in 2010. Had a Stem Cell Transplant and as of the end of 2017, had been in remission with Revlimed as my maintenance therapy. Then in Jan. 2018, lifted a small bag and the result was a lesion break in my upper left arm..my blood tests never showed me out of remission so had surgery on the arm (2 steel plates/screws) implanted and still have not had complete recovery. I am currently doing Velcade/Dexa/Revlimed and being scheduled for another stem cell. Am doing good with very little side effects, so life is good for me. (Thankful an internist diagnosed me in 2010 and didn’t let me go without further testing!)

    • So happy for you. My youngest brother was diagnosed with large b cell lymphoma in 2009. Six Rounds of r-chop. Relapsed 6 months later necessitating an auto stem cell transplant at Stanford. So far so good. Another brother had head and neck cancer 24 years ago. Still alive. I have an artificial heart valve good for 40 years. Implanted 2009. 40 years ago both my brothers would be dead. The valves at that time were only good for 10-12 years and you did not get another. I would almost be gone. I am also an RN still working a bit at 68 and tell patients about the wonderful advances in medicine. Yes, it is expensive and I do not have an answer for that. Just glad we have options. Thank you doctors, big pharma, researchers, bio engineers etc. We are alive and well because of you.

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