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in multiple myeloma

John Pagenstecher

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Bonnie Falbo

multiple myeloma coach since 2020

I have been my 75 year old husband's patient advocate and caregiver since we started this journey in 2008 when he was diagnosed with MGUS. In 2016 he progressed to high-risk smoldering and then active myeloma in 2018. In June 2019 he had an autologous stem cell transplant followed by lenalidomide maintenance and he also participation in a Vaccine Trial. After a very slow biochemical progression over the past year, he started DPd. Throughout the years I have been by his side, using the skills I have learned as a Physician Assistant, Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer to be his advocate, educator, caregiver and skilled listener. With my medical background I know how doctors think, which enables me to help you prepare for appointments and get the most of your precious time with your doctor. I can help you succinctly present your whole health/personal lifestyle picture and organize your questions in a way that will engage your doctor and stimulate discussion. My medical training enables me to review labs and reports with you and help you learn what information is important to track. I can also help you sort through differing medical opinions to develop an approach this is right for you. In addition, I can help with research on Medicare Part D. I have a passion for educating and coaching people and I feel privileged to partner with myeloma patients and other caregivers. I understand how complex and confusing this disease is and know that sometimes despite the best intentions of friends and family it is helpful to talk to someone who "gets" myeloma. I especially want to offer you compassionate listening and an opportunity to have a time and space that's private and just for YOU. We live with our furry kids, Yukon the dog and Peakahn, the cat. I'm a native New Yorker and former WDC resident, who now enjoys the beauty and tranquility of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

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Mark Bastian

multiple myeloma coach since 2023

My name is Mark, I am 65 years old. My husband Rodd & I live in San Miguel de Allende MX. In April 2022 I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma by my doctor here in Mexico. Went through 4 months of treatment. In August of 2022, we traveled to Nashville TN to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute to begin the process of Stem Cell Transplant. September 2nd I had my transplant. We stayed in Nashville to the beginning of October. We then traveled back to San Miguel. I am happy to report my transplant was a success. I am cancer cell free & myeloma free. Back at the gym, back to cooking & baking that I love so much. My background is in the baking industry. My life today is better than I could have imagined a year ago. Yes, I am a bit slower, do experience some back issues but it's nothing compared to where I was. I am so grateful for today. My husband Rodd just came back from a 6 week, 7,635 mile tour of the US. We called it "Remission Tour 2023". We visited family, my children & our grandsons. It was truly wonderful and beat expectation. Plus, I felt great on this trip. We met with my doctors in Nashville as well for a follow up great lab results. Having Multiple Myeloma was not easy, some of the worst days in my life. I am so grateful for the great doctors, nurses who treated me, the love and support I received from friends & family, mostly from the care I received from my husband Rodd. Could not have walked through this without him. When I found out I had Multiple Myeloma I void I would remain positive as possible, take this serious, ask for help, keep a sense of humor. All this help me in so many ways.

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