Making Every Moment Matter

“I never expected to be diagnosed with cancer,” says Christine Newbold of Dundas.

Nurse Grace Catania at a WOW station, with patient Christine Newbold sitting in a chair.

Nurse Grace Catania with patient Christine Newbold

“When I started to experience severe pain in my arm and shoulder last year, I had an MRI to investigate possible spinal conditions. This led to the discovery of abnormal cells growing throughout my spine.”

Christine was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that causes the growth of abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow. If left untreated, this disease can result in extreme bone loss, anemia, kidney failure and even death.

Confronting the cancer

“After I accepted the shocking diagnosis, I made the first of many visits to Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre,” recalls Christine. “I started with a regimen of outpatient chemotherapy designed to reduce the growth of the abnormal cells in my blood, but this was just the beginning of my cancer journey.”

“My care team was top notch and they helped me through this difficult time.”

The next step in her care was a stem cell transplant, which is a method of replacing abnormal cells in the bone marrow with healthy stem cells. Christine underwent a second, more intensive round of chemotherapy to prepare her body for the procedure. Then the stem cell transplant was conducted and her blood was infused with healthy cells to combat the cancer.

Helping hands

“My care team was top notch and they helped me through this difficult time,” she says. “They were always happy to answer my questions and lend their support when I dealt with the side effects of my treatment, especially the extreme fatigue and weakness.”

Christine visits Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre daily for blood work and infusions of various blood products to help her body recover from the stem cell transplant. Multiple myeloma is considered an incurable form of cancer, but it can be managed with various medications.

What matters most

“Although I’ll never be cancer-free, I fully intend to get back to leading a ‘normal’ life full of adventures with my family and friends. Thanks to the amazing care I’m receiving, I’m feeling well and I’m making every moment matter with my loved ones by my side.”