Midland, MI; email@example.com
1961 / Class of '98 / Plasmacytoma on optic nerve, surgery, transplant, remission / Updated: 4/13
Dec 26, 1998: Diagnosed with Myeloma in the long bones and skull and plasmacytoma on the optic nerve. Only symptom was a headache (severe) and bloody nose! Many allergies over the years, however.
January 1999: Brain surgery through my nose to remove half of the 2x2" tumor on the optic nerve. Tumor found to be cancerous. Surgeons used fat tissue (extracted from my abdomen with liposuction) to fill the space vacated by the tumor.
March-June 1999: I.V. chemotherapy.
July-Setpember 1999: Radiation on the optic nerve.
October-November 1999: Autologous bone-marrow transplant. Prior to transplant, massive amount of radiation and chemo, both I.V. and oral.
January 26, 2000: Total remission declared! Thank you, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
June 2, 2000: I just celebrated my 39th Birthday, THE BEST BIRTHDAY IN MY WHOLE LIFE!
REBIRTH, A BLESSING FROM GOD! LOOKED IN THE SKY TONIGHT, LOTS OF STARS... THE BIG DIPPER... STARS ALL OVER... I THINK THEY WERE MY ANGELS ABOVE!!
Dec 24, 2000: I am still in remission, feeling good, just tired.
Mar 10, 2002: STILL in remission!
May 5, 2002: My energy level is better. Still in remission and doing great!
July 13, 2002: Good News: I now have to go for MRI's, Scans, etc., every 6 months, instead of 3! Feeling better every day. Only getting Aredia by IV once a month, which will continue until the year 2005.
Thank you for having this site, I have been helping people of all kinds with the same cancer for the last few months. It's amazing how much cancer is in this world, but what really amazes me is that God saved me, so I could counsel others! I always felt there was a reason for me getting cancer, now I know why.
I have had daughters, wives, men and women (of family members with Multiple Myeloma) writing for my advice. I just tell them honestly what I went through and above all believe in the power of prayer and the expertise of your doctor/s.
September, 2002: I am now starting my 3 year anniversary remission tests.........so far, OK. I will know all results by February 2003. Right now I feel great, just get Aredia every month to strengthen my bones, works!
October 25, 2002: I am now starting my 3 year anniversary tests for MM. Every thing is going great!
I am just amazed on how many people have e-mailed me for advice! All the way from the United States to England! I just want to says thanks and that all of you make me feel needed again. When you have cancer and your life stops (work, etc.), it just makes you feel like you are alive again when people start asking for your help. I know many people visited me when I was sick, but now that I am ok... no one does. Why is that?? We should celebrate health, good and bad.
I just have one favor to ask each of you that visit my site... please go out of your way each day, do a favor for someone in need or just say a prayer for them! That's my only wish in my life, to just make someone else's special!
God bless to everyone in the world, especially those of us who have been chosen by god to carry the 'cancer' cross. I know if each one passes it to the next, soon we all be cancer free. Because we all know when it's the heaviest, God will carry it!
(The last update for now will be that the U of M called on Halloween, A big A-OK, all clear... NO cancer!)
Jan 25, 2003: I am back on-line! I really appreciate this site. As to date, I am still in remission! I receive Aredia monthly (for 3 years now) to strengthen my bones. Aredia works great and I am feeling stronger each day.
Feb, 2004: I am still in remission! Had another surgery last November, 2003. The doctors thought I had another tumor in my head, they had seen something on the MRI. Surgery, again, through my nose, the piece in my head just broke apart when they went to grab it! They couldn't find any cancer! My doctor told me to go home and live, which I am! The doctors feel I am cancer free and think the Multiple Myeloma will never come back.
When I went for the appointment after the surgery, My neurosurgeon, told me & my husband, "honestly, we all thought you had died 3 years ago... my friends said I should have said, "BOO!". So, you never can believe what you're told, sometimes God's medicine is better than Man's. I do pray a lot!!
Feb, 2006: Amazing...7 years ago today (February 12, 1999) I was getting fit for my mask for radiation on my optic nerve to get rid of the rest of the cancerous tumor! I am happy to say I am still here and healthy. The cancer has not come back and I am in my 7th year of Remission! I truly believe in the power of prayer and have faith in the doctors that God sent my way!
Cancer is not the end of life, but the beginning to a beautiful fulfilling life with family & friends & the extended ones you meet along the way! I know it's hard, but you have to remain positive and strong, no matter what!
I now appreciate everything in life, whether it be good or bad. Physically and Mentally I am doing well, exercising and getting back into shape! I will be 45 years old this year, but only feel 25! My eyesight is fuzzy at times, but I still keep passing the eye exams with 20/20 vision! I still get Aredia, by IV, every 6 months. Yearly MRI's and Mammograms, X-rays and labs. What a health plan! Just had to do it the hard way!
Don't ever give up and stay strong, for all of you are in my prayers now.
July, 2006: I have recently seen my neurosergeon and oncologist, and they both feel I will never get MM again, I am in 7 years of remission! NOT CURABLE, BUT YOU CAN STAY IN REMISSION!
I just went back to work full-time and enjoy it! Its a great feeling to be back in life again!
April, 2007: I just had my series of MRIs, X-rays, bloodtests... to date, I am still in remission, almost 8 years!
November, 2007: Almost 8 years to my autogenous transplant! I am still in remission and doing well. I recently had an MRI (head), Petscan, bloodtests and liver tests, ALL is well, no cancer! I am still receiving Aredia (By IV) every other month. Aredia works very well.
April, 2008: I am still in remission, 8 years now. Only receiving Aredia by IV (to strenghten my bones) every 2 months. I will be 47 this June and feel great!
January, 2009: I am now in my 9th year of Remission! I am doing fine, still receiving Aredia by IV, every 2 months. Aredia has worked great strengthening my bones. Just have occasional Charlie horses, not as severe as 5 years ago. Other than that, I don't have any other treatments. I finally have my high blood pressure and high cholesterol under control and have lost 35 lbs., and boy does it feel great!
I am back to work, working at Kmart in Midland, Michigan. I really like it, I am an cashier and I love working with people! I even see people from 30 years ago, now I know where they all went...KMART! I'm on my feet a lot, which is good, its a good arobic workout!
I truly feel the cancer won't come back, and if it ever does, then we'll just deal with it!
I still believe cancer is not the end, but the beginning to a great life of changes. I've met many people since 1999, that I would of never, had I not had cancer. If I could do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing. I pray always for all of those I have met and for all of those I haven't. Like I tell everyone now, my HEART only beats because GOD'S HEART is beating! We finally found each other. Keep your spirits high and believe in God, that's the key to remission!
I know some days are harder and I have been there, but for some reason God gives us what he thinks we can handle!
Stay positive and remember for we ALL have today, we can't predict what tomorrow will bring us! I'm still going forward, oh sometimes I look back, but not very long! If anyone ever needs to talk, I am always here for you and I mean it, whatever you ask, is fine with me.
I hope and pray for everyone to have the outcome I have had. May God Bless all of you forever and your friends and family, because cancer affects all of us, not just the patient!
I have gone from watching the Stars to watching the Deer in my yard, I have had deer come right up to my windows, 10 or more at a time! Gods creatures are beautiful! Life looks pretty good for 2009.
December, 2009: "Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2009 to All!" I will be celebrating my 10 years in Remission in January of 2010! I am doing fine and getting stronger each day! I can't believe 10 years have passed since first being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma & Plasmacytoma Cancer! Don't ever give up...there are so many cures out there today.
I am still working at Kmart in Midland, Michigan...over a year now! I truly enjoy being around people and having a place I know I'm needed! I have 4 children, Jeremy is my oldest, Daniel & (Natasha)... whom I might add is giving us our 1st grandchild in May 2010... Chantelle & Alexander... and my husband Gerard of 26 years! God blessed me with more years with all of them!
I pray for all of you, don't ever go back, just go forward and always remember God does listen when you ask him to! God bless and best wishes to all of you for the new year! Remember I'm just a click away, anytime of the day or year! You ALL are in my prayers and my heart daily!
Sincerely, Kathy Fortier...still freezing in Michigan! ...but loving it!
Feb, 2010: I made it over my 10 years in remission! I am doing fine, still getting Aredia (by IV) to strengthen my bones. I can't believe 10 years have passed! I still say my prayers for ALL of YOU Daily! I am just waiting for the arrival of my first grandson in May. I am still here for all of you, if anyone needs a friend to talk you, please email me anytime!
June, 2010: What a great Birthday this year! I turned 49 years old on June 2, 2010 and at 12:11 pm my 1st Grandson (Jaden Daniel) was born on my birthday! After all I went through for the last 10 years, God just gave me another Miracle! I not only survived to raise my children, my first grandson arrived! As of January this year I am in 10 years into remission. I still get Aredia by IV for strengthening my bones. I am doing great and feel better and healthier every day! I still pray for ALL of YOU! I hope everyone is doing ok! I'm still here with open arms for anyone to write to me! God Bless to all of you with cancer and for the families that have to go through all of the processes...I know it's hard on all of us! Love & Prayers from your friend in Michigan.
November, 2010: Happy Thanksgiving and Wishing you a wonderful Christmas! I am still doing just fine! 10+ years in remission, although did have double pneumonia again, but ok now. Just marked 2 years at Kmart, I love working there and get to meet many people, to which you all know now, "I love everyone". Wishing all of you Blessings throughout the New Year coming! Have faith and remember YOU only have to give all the problems to GOD~he does listen! My daily prayers are for all of you! God Bless, your friend Kathy in Michigan, bbrrrrrrrr!! LOL ps. if you need a shoulder to cry or whatever on....I'm always here, just a click away!!
August, 2011: Still in remission! Now I have a grand-daughter, Ashlin, born August 11, 2011 ~ Jaden (brother) was born last year on my birthday! God has truly blessed me with health and family! My prayers go out to ALL of you going though cancer ~ remember stay positive and go forward ~ God does listen to our prayers! God Bless to all of you! Love, Kathy in Michigan!
November, 2011: I have been chosen to be in the Cancer Services Fashion Show of Midland, Michigan ~ November 30, 2011 at the Midland Country Club...proceeds going to the Cancer Services of Midland, which helps with financial with families going through cancer.
I am so excited, as I finally feel like its "My day"...its been a long haul, But I would never change a thing ~ for I landed on my feet, still in remission and still blessed with ALL the friends I met along the way!
God bless to all of you, Have a wonderful holiday! I'm 50 years old and now a grandmother! Life is great!
Celebrated September 30, 2011 ~ 28 years with my husband Gerard ~ who through thick & thin...never left my side!
December, 2012: I'm doing fine 12 years in remission 12-12-12 :)
April, 2013: I am still doing great lost over 55 lbs and feeling good!
With all my Love, Kathy & Gerard Fortier.
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