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Celebrating Two Decades with Multiple Myeloma: Vicki Jones’ Journey
Posted: Jun 24, 2024
Celebrating Two Decades with Multiple Myeloma: Vicki Jones’ Journey  image

Vicki Jones is a myeloma patient and active HealthTree Cure Hub user. In a recent interview published by Cancer Care Northwest, she shares her personal 20-year myeloma journey. 

Vicki was diagnosed with multiple myeloma when she was 51. After learning that only 51% of myeloma patients are still alive five years after diagnosis, Vicki prepared for the worst. 

“I’ll never get to see what kind of an old lady I’d be.” 

Following her diagnosis in 2004, Vicki was referred to Cancer Care Northwest (CCNW) Medical Oncologist and Hematologist Dr. Hakan Kaya. She began rigorous treatment immediately, undergoing various therapies including antibody medications, steroids, and immunosuppressants. Each treatment came with its own set of side effects. In 2007, Vicki underwent an autologous stem cell transplant, one of the early transplants performed by Dr. Kaya and the Inland Northwest Myeloma/Lymphoma Transplant Program. She also received radiation therapy and dealt with breaks in her myeloma-weakened bones. She lost most of her sense of taste and half of her fingernails on her current regimen. Despite these challenges, Vicki maintains a positive outlook. “In spite of it all, believe it or not, my quality of life has been pretty great! My husband and I winter in Arizona, we travel, we learned pretty quickly to seize the day. Most people have no idea that I have cancer."

Despite the odds, Vicki celebrates the 20th anniversary of her diagnosis in June 2024 at 71. 

“I love every wrinkle on my face and every gray hair on my head!”

Vicki Jones, now 71, has defied the typical prognosis of multiple myeloma. Her story is an ode to resilience and the advancements in myeloma treatment.

"Against the odds, I’m here! I’m alive!"

Vicki attributes her success to several factors, including her supportive husband, Dan. 

"I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my wonderful, supportive care-partner husband, Dan. Failing to give him credit would be like winning an Oscar and not thanking your director."

Her body has responded well to most of the drug regimens, but she acknowledges that myeloma always returns. “I truly think I might not be here without Dr. Kaya, his medical team, and the all-around superior care I've received at Cancer Care Northwest. I love going there. I've been to many other cancer clinics over the years, both big and small. None hold a candle to CCNW!"

Dr. Kaya continues to monitor Vicki’s disease closely. From the very beginning, he has tailored her treatment to ensure the best possible outcome while aiming to minimize side effects. “He didn’t just put me on a treatment and leave it; he was continuously monitoring and adjusting my treatment.” 

Vicki’s treatment plan is ever-evolving as myeloma becomes refractory to medications. She remains actively involved in her care with HealthTree Cure Hub, continuously learning about her disease, attending seminars, and networking with other survivors. Since 2019, she has been a Myeloma Coach with the HealthTree Foundation, helping over 70 myeloma patients understand and cope with the disease.

Living with multiple myeloma requires access to a wealth of resources and support. Vicki has participated in educational videos and has been featured in various healthcare articles, contributing to the knowledge available to patients and caregivers.

Vicki emphasizes the importance of being an advocate for your health. 

“Ask the questions, listen to your body, and collaborate with your healthcare team! Discover all you can about your disease, but remember to set it aside and live your life. If you’re fighting to stay alive, make sure to live!

Vicki Jones' story is about resilience, hope, and the power of community and advanced medical care. Her journey highlights the importance of support, ongoing research, and personalized treatment in managing multiple myeloma.

Get Help From Other Patients Like You With the HealthTree Coach Program 

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Coaches can provide guidance on topics such as finding a specialist, learning about financial aid, or using online and digital resources to help you live longer and better.

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Source: 

The author Jimena Vicencio

about the author
Jimena Vicencio

Jimena is an International Medical Graduate who is part of the HealthTree Writing team. She loves learning new things led by her curiosity, playing with her pets, and exercising in her free time.

Thanks to our HealthTree Community for Multiple Myeloma Sponsors:

Johnson and Johnson
Sanofi
Pfizer
Regeneron
Adaptive
Bristol Myers Squibb

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