Member Spotlight: Theresa Frank’s Story (in her own words)
I was diagnosed 8 years ago at the age of 43 years old. My life will never be the same. My story began like so many — totally unexpected. I thought I had a bad flu that just wouldn’t go away. The bad flu turned out to be double pneumonia and so much more. I was hospitalized immediately and within hours my kidneys were shutting down. My right lung had collapsed and doctors could not understand what was causing my body to fail. I was placed in an induced coma to allow the doctors time to figure it out. The moment came for the diagnosis of this mysterious disease that was causing my body to fail. My family was told that I had Multiple Myeloma. I had cancer. My family researched the diagnosis and were told that it was incurable, and that the survival rate was only a few years.
Eight years later, I am alive and well. After my diagnosis, I came to Cancer Support Community looking for help in dealing with the emotional roller coaster, and acceptance of my new life living with cancer. I started attending the monthly drop-in network support group at CSC for those living with Multiple Myeloma. At the time I was one of the youngest members of the group. At the first meeting I was so afraid and only wanted to be invisible in the back of the room. Look at me today — I am now the organizer and leader of our support group! The group educates members to be patient advocates in their healthcare decisions. I bring in speakers who educate our members on the latest drugs and treatments. The community has given me a sense of support and understanding.
If you are able to get involved in the community and make a difference, then please do. Join a support group where you won’t feel alone, and you may get the emotional support that you may need. Remember, your journey may impact other people’s lives. As someone who has gone through cancer I can tell you, you don’t need to go through this alone. The CSC community is here to help. My networking support group has helped me change my story. I wish you to view me as hope living with cancer. Cancer can look like me. I am cancer. I am a miracle to those in my support group and to my family and friends.
Theresa Frank, Westlake Myeloma