In His Own Words

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Johnny Veselka
My diagnosis of multiple myeloma was confirmed in October of 2016. I was diagnosed at that point of having smoldering myeloma. And she prescribed a regimen of chemotherapy that she wanted to begin.

I began a 3-month regimen that included the chemotherapy. I was able to go in for the infusions, take my medication, and essentially continue to work full-time throughout that process. Never did really experience any major side effects during that 3-month period. And so, after the series of chemotherapy treatments, then we moved forward with the stem cell transplant. And then the next step was for me to go in for a stem cell collection. And that process worked extremely well. Again, I did not experience any significant side effects.

I think that my wife and family were always encouraged by my attitude toward the illness and my feeling that we were going to address this at a very early point in time, and I would be able to get through the chemotherapy regimen and the transplant and be able to continue to live a very productive life in the future. I was also encouraged -- and I think we all were -- by the advice that was provided to us. All of that gave me a good feeling about where we were and what we were going through.

I'm now 2 weeks past being dismissed from the hospital, and ready to go back to work and ready to continue my activities. It's my understanding that I'll have to develop my strengths, and it'll take a while to get back to full strength. But I feel very comfortable moving about and being part of getting back into the daily routine.

What I've learned through this process is that multiple myeloma is one of those cancers that can be treated very successfully, and particularly if it's determined at a very early stage. And obviously with any cancer or any medical condition, knowing early is better than knowing later. So I would say, think positively. And take advantage of every opportunity to get your condition addressed as quickly as possible.