My name is Wendy Duffield.
I was born in 1961, straddling the baby boomer generation and generation X. I was always more of a punk rocker! I live in South Manchester and work part time as a solicitor. I have practised as a solicitor for a while but before that I did all sorts of things including a lot of world travel, doing a research degree and working in the voluntary sector.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma on 24th December 2010 at the age of 49. Up until then I was pretty healthy, fairly active and as complacent as most people about how long I would live. I was living with my partner with whom I had been for 20 years.
In January 2011, within a month all that changed, I was now a cancer patient, dealing with a rare incurable blood cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, split up from my partner and coping with chemotherapy.
In 2012 I enjoyed living in remission for 15/16 months following an autologous (meaning from my own stem cells) stem cell transplant on 1 September 2011. By January 2013 my myeloma markers were rising so technically I was no longer in remission although at that stage I had no signs other than my blood markers.
I was inspired to write a blog by a friend who also has myeloma and has an excellent blog
She writes so eloquently about her journey with myeloma since she was diagnosed.
I dont think I could have written a blog when I was going through treatment and splitting up with my partner. I was too distressed and distracted so my blog will be about my life since my stem cell transplant and how it is (at least for me) to be living with the big C.
Welcome to my world!
20 responses to “About”
Sharing your most private thoughts, going through a terrifying illness, is a very brave thing to do. If, by bringing awareness of Myeloma and what sufferers go through, motivates just 1 person to join the Anthony Nolan Register, then that 1 person could save a life. Hopefully, it will motivate many more to join and save many lives. After reading Jetblackliving, I think you are one brave lady to do your blog and feel very privileged to be related to such an inspirational person. Pat.
Thanks Pat, brave I may be, a lady I am not!
I didn’t start my journal until about nine months after diagnosis and my blog, Compelled CLarity, until a year after transplant. I know what you meant when you said you couldn’t do it during treatment. It is a strange journey that we are on. Survivorship can be difficult and I had no idea it existed until I started experiencing the emotions that go along with it.
I will look forward to your future posts. Take good care of yourself.
Forgive me for being a bit of detail maniac….Your 13th Feb post says “there is no cure and the average life expectancy from diagnosis is between 3 to 5 years.”, which you have quoted from elsewhere. It is not true, and I do think some of your audience may get a little scared with that. The median survival time is 62 months, from diagnosis and the data used for that is based on treatments started 5 to 25 years ago. It is out of date as most cancer stats on the web are. Things are much much better than they used to be. Sorry I posted here, I couldn’t find an email address.
I appreciate your reply, you are right, I quoted from the Basil Skyers Foundation, it could be out of date. I have read so many different statistics its confusing. Where did you get your data from? It might be useful if I could put that on my blog. Presume you are a fellow myeloma sufferer, would love to hear how you are doing etc
hello cousin Wendy…tanx 4 email linking to this blog. as u know i have techno fear of anything more complicated than a microwave, but on the occasions my computer is working and there are enough kids in the house to help me, i do have a little go. I have had a good read and its awesome and. informative…I agree writing is a cathartic experience and over the years I have filled many an a4 page with words and felt better afterwards. Holly and I loved our meet up, the flapjacks, music, your company and our first persian eating experience!!! haha just a thought…a few random recipes on the blog? email or text when u up for another social…venue to suit u! (remember holly is the most full on 11 year old in creation..b prepared) val xxxxxxxxxxx
Yes, I have myeloma too – 44 yrs old, 7 months out of SCT and feeling pretty good again. The stats I used are from here
There is a quite in depth report in the Blood Journal regarding prognosis and remission status which I found interesting. It does takes some reading, here is the link for anyone else that may be interested
Click to access 3139.full.pdf
Hi Wendy. Tried to leave message yesterday but seems to have disappeared. Here goes again. I was diagnosed in march 2001 after going into complete kIdney failure – 2 per cent. Went undiagnosed despite several visits to GP over a period of 6 weeks. Was admitted to hospital via A&E and immediately on to dialysis for 5 weeks. As treatment for MM progressed so did kidney function. I had autologous transplant in September 2002 and have been in remission ever since. I now have annual checkups now and am not on any medication apart from statin for cholesterol. Like the photo taken on Crosby beach about 4 miles from where I live. Don’t despair as remission can and does often last many years and sometimes indefinitely. I wish you all the best in your journey after transplant and hope you u continue to get stronger and stronger. Regards. Joan
I did get your first message but the dates didnt quite make sense and then I got your second message saying you were diagnosed in March 2001 not March 2011! How great that you have been enjoying such a long remission since your transplant and I hope it continues for a very long time to come. The fact that the hospital only wants to see you every 12 months suggests that they are assuming it will continue that way too. The difficulty we all have is that we dont know how long our remission will last and we have to live with that uncertainty, I suppose you have got used to living that way.
Yes the photo was taken at Crosby beach with the Anthony Gormley figures which I really like en masse. Are you at a hospital in Liverpool then?
Hello Wendy old friend,just surfing and entered y name, bingo.there u are. seems like u have a lot goin on at the mo,hope u are copeing.Being the biker and trucker and typing with one finger kind of person i dont really know what to say about your health other than keep on fighting girl..Get in touch if u want, hell it must be thirty years since we last spoke in Leeds,it would be good to hear from you. best wishes Doc.
Wendy, it’s been a while since China, Thailand and Ireland! Have been thinking of you over the years, but had “lost” your full name. Last night it came to me, so I googled your name straight away and found your blog. Am sorry to hear you are living with cancer and all that comes with that. I do hope the odds are on your side. Get in touch when and if you feel like it. Best wishes Anna
Wow Anna! Amazing to hear from you! I will reply to your message soon. I’m currently in Tromso not too far away from you!
It’s nice to see a photo of you. Best wishes going forward.
Your blogging buddy from Oregon,
And to you John, sorry to hear that you have relapsed
Check this out! 🙂
Hope it helps!
It’s early days yet but looks very promising. Thanks for posting
Our paths seem very similar despite different cancers. Thank you for sharing your journey!
I like the title of your blog and will definitely be giving it a read soon
I happened upon your blog and am struck by how similar our cancer stories are. I too was diagnosed with multiple myeloma with kidney involvement in 2007…I was only 43. I’ve been through reams of chemo and an allo stem cell transplant. I’m now in relapse again and am also dealing with major gvhd. It’s in my skin, muscles and tendons, and lungs. They warn you about all this but it’s hard to imagine or tell what real life living with this is like. Only those of us who are going thru this can really understand.
I hope this email finds you well…as reasonably well as you can be under the circumstances.
I hope to hear back from you.
Yes it does sound like our cancer journeys are similar except you were younger and diagnosed earlier. Sorry to hear that you relapsed from your allo transplant yet are still suffering with GVHD. That must be hard to bear. I’ll be in touch via email.