Welcome to my Caring Bridge website. My story began in October 2018 when I was experiencing pain in my back and rib area along with a cough. After a couple visits to the clinic the pain seemed to be getting worse. We assumed I had cracked a rib from coughing. I finally decided to go to the emergency room on Thanksgiving day 2018. During this visit, several tests were run and I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma cancer which is the most aggressive stage for this type of cancer. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer that forms in the white blood cell called a plasma. Plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs. Multiple Myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out the health blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications. During that first month I went from being a healthy person who worked full time and took care of my two children to being taken to the hospital twice by ambulance and being admitted 4 times. On Christmas day, as I was sitting in my hospital bed having been told by a doctor and a nurse that they almost "lost me" I was an emotional mess. I spoke with my friend that evening who in turn contacted Dr. Alsina at Moffitt Cancer Center and the plan was to have me transferred to Moffitt's hospital by the end of the week. We managed to get all the doctors to agree to release me with the understanding that I would go directly to Moffitt, which I did and I began receiving the chemo treatments I needed that next week. As a result of the amazing care of Moffitt cancer center along with my body responding so well to the treatments I am now eligible for a bone marrow transplant!! Saturday April 13, 2019 is the first day of the rest of my life as I begin my journey to remission! I cannot begin to express in words my heartfelt gratitude I feel for all the love, support, prayers and generosity I have received. I wish I could speak with each and every one of you every day of this journey, but I know at times it will be difficult and I will have some pretty tough days ahead of me so I will be posting in my caring bridge as much as I can to keep you all updated on the good, the bad and the ugly days of my progress. Please keep me in your prayers and thank you from the bottom of my heart. With love and tremendous gratitude, Catherine.