Jennifer Hoegerman’s life is, by every measure, an active one filled with parental and professional commitments, volunteerism of a challenging sort, an enthusiasm for the outdoor life whether sailing, canoeing, or riding her beloved Arabian horses, and a love of nature. Jennifer is also a nineteen-year survivor of Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. A “younger WMer,” Jennifer was diagnosed when her children were young and before the era of Rituxan, a time when the strategy of watch and wait was not an option so frequently followed as it is today.
I will never forget the phone call that changed our lives. It was in the Fall of 1998 when my sister and I received a call from my mother. She was extremely upset. Our father had just received a call from his doctor who reported his lab work showed a very low hematocrit value of 17. The doctor advised my father to report to the hospital right away.
Jeannette Quiroz underwent pregnancy testing while being tested for WM at the age of 35. To her surprise, both were confirmed.
Michael was the first Australian to have Ibrutinib treatment and it’s been lifesaving. “My life is normal now,” said Michael, 69, of Milton in regional New South Wales.
All WMers share a similar diagnosis, yet each has a unique journey and fight for survival. Through my journey, I am now a stronger me than I would have been otherwise.
Always active and in his prime of life, it never occurred to Gunnar, until he almost passed out 14 years ago at the age of 38, that he needed to see a physician.
Ryan was a marathon runner when diagnosed in 2010 at the age of 35. He joined the IWMF Chicago Support Group and found the help he needed from others who understood.
I was diagnosed at 53 (16 years ago) getting breathless learning to tap dance. My wife Alison noticed night sweats, tiredness and more dimwittedness than usual and thought it might be MS. I then came down with shingles and pleurisy.
I have had a long journey with Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. I have had good news and bad news during this period, but the good news has been with me for over sixteen years. I hope it lasts a whole lot longer. I was diagnosed with WM in August, 1998 and started chemotherapy in September, 1998.
Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (a mouthful), a rare blood cancer in the lymphoma family, closely related to leukemia. Chances of getting it were estimated to be about 0.03/1,000,000. There is no known cure. With those odds, I’d rather have won the Powerball!