Kim R. on The Importance of Being Your Own Advocate During Cancer Treatment
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The EmPOWER Her Series with Guest Kim R.
We are so grateful to share a blog post from our EmPOWER Her Series. Today’s guest is Kim R., who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at 42 years old. Kim offers advice on the importance of being an advocate for your health and well-being.
Kim R. was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at the age of 42. When asked to share a bit about her cancer experience, Kim offered insight from a place of vulnerability and strength.
Kim recalled having a general unwell feeling and achiness around her kidneys prior to her cancer diagnosis and went to two doctors before a blood test finally revealed abnormal proteins in her bloodstream. Before long, more tests showed that Kim’s kidneys were only functioning at 30% and that her bone marrow was 70% cancerous.
Despite the scary numbers, Kim went forward with treatment and received her first auto transplant.
Thirteen years and two relapses later, Kim continues to live her life with multiple myeloma. Her advice to other women who may be going through their own treatment or have recently been diagnosed with multiple myeloma was genuine, “Take care of yourself,” she said, “Don’t give up hope. Of course I get down at times and worry about how much time I have but then I remember how far I’ve come and I push forward. Allow yourself to have some pity days and then pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. Life is too good to waste time feeling sorry for yourself or worrying about what’s next”.
Kim made sure to emphasize the importance of eating well, exercising, and being your own advocate when it comes to one’s individual health and treatment. Most importantly, when asked if there were any treatments or services that helped her with her cancer journey Kim said, “being my own advocate is key. I research ways to combat any negative side effects I may experience from treatments and run them by my doctors. Whether that be taking vitamins, going to physical therapy or getting a massage, I make sure to try things for my well-being. That’s the best service I can offer myself, just to take care of me”.