Name: Cindi McNair
Hometown: Lincoln, NE
Why I’m Climbing for the MM4MM Team: Celebrating 10 years of LIVING with Myeloma, and successful stem cell transplant 10 years ago this October! Climbing this mountain to raise money and awareness for MMRF is a terrific way for me to celebrate!
My Story: (What is your connection to multiple myeloma? What would you like us to know about you?)
I was diagnosed at age 42, and like so many, was terrified as I learned about this disease and its life expectancy. My initial therapy was a clinical trial with Revlimid before this drug was FDA approved. I responded favorably to prep for a stem cell transplant 9 mos later. After transplant I had 4 years of complete response (remission)! Since then I have been on 2 oral drug therapies, that were not even around at the time of my diagnose. Because of research and funding and the the incredible work of so many, I am able to LIVE my life with cancer. Not have CANCER, and live my life. My hope is that by climbing Macchu Picchu I will help making a difference in someone else's life living with multiple myeloma.
LIVING with MM, I am celebrating my 10th year since successful stem cell transplant, and wanted to celebrate by doing something special, giving back, and stepping out of my box. I was dx'd at age 42 years, and presented with a compression fracture in my back at T-12. Navigating the journey of disease, and living with MM obviously has been a game changer for me. The first few years were certainly a journey and a learning curve. At the time of my diagnosis, the average lifespan was 5-7 years. Wow! That not only changed my life perspective, but really taught me to live with intention. At the time, my husband and I had a goal to make it to my 50th birthday and our 15 year wedding anniversary. Needless to say, we have surpassed both!
I have always been an advocate for research, clinical trials, and using what I have been through to help others. I was enrolled in the clinical trial for Revlimid, and responded very positively before it was FDA approved. After transplant, I had 4 years of complete response. When I relapsed in 2011, the first course of therapy was Revlimid, as I had responded positively before. Revlimid held my M protein down for an additional 4 years. While I still remain A-symptomatic, the decision was made to try one of the newer drugs in this family, and began Pomalyst 4 months ago.
It is important to me to share my experiences with other going through cancer, whether Myeloma or other types. While I was going through chemo to prep for Stem Cell Transplant, my husband was Dx’d with prostrate cancer, and my dad was Dx.d with chronic myelogenous leukemia! We all had lots of “Fall Off the Horse” days, as I call them. And knew our only option was to get ourselves up, dusted off, and right back on the horse. So my husband was going through daily radiation while I was hospitalized, and both he and my dad are doing fine today.
I also share my experience with others recently dx’d with myeloma all across the country through the First Connection program through the Leukemia Lymphoma society. While a new cancer diagnosis is certainly something I never like to hear, I share my passion for Living my Life with Cancer. Not having Cancer, and living my life.