Sarah Kaufmann-Fink: Happy, Healthy and Focused on Living Life

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Topics include: Patient Stories and Living Well

Hear from Sarah Kaufmann-Fink about being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma at 22 years old. Sarah talks about how being diagnosed with a serious condition helped to frame the way she chooses to live her life moving forward, her priorities and even influenced her career path.

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

Sarah, so tell me what connected you with myeloma, just briefly the story and where you are now. 

Sarah Kaufmann-Fink:

When I was 22 years old I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and I went through chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplant, autologous stem cell transplant, and have been living in remission from my multiple myeloma since December of 2005. I will be celebrating my seventh transplant anniversary in just a couple months. 

Since I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma I went back to school and became a nurse and I recently got married. 

Andrew Schorr:

Not many people your age are diagnosed with a cancer.  Thank goodness you’re doing well now.  How has this changed you? 

Sarah Kaufmann-Fink:

I think that being diagnosed with such a serious illness at any age changes your life and changes your outlook on life.  I think being diagnosed with multiple myeloma age 22 changed my life in a lot of physical ways and also changed my perspective on my life. 

Some of the tangibles, I went back to school and became a nurse because I really appreciated the nurses in particular that I had gotten to know through my experiences with the medical community, and that has been a really rewarding part of my life.  I think it strengthened my relationship with a lot of my family and friends.  It helped me focus on what I decide is important in my life, and to me that’s family and friends. 

I don’t feel like I have a lot of gray areas in my life as much.  I know for me what is right and what is wrong, and I don’t have a lot of questions on how to act or how to respond because it’s not worth it.  There’s not the time, and I don’t have the energy to put into doing that.  For me, I feel like my perspective has changed, my goals in life have changed, my career has changed, and I can say now, although I wouldn’t have said this right after my diagnosis, all of those things have been very positive for me. 

Andrew Schorr:

And how do you feel about the future? 

Sarah Kaufmann-Fink:

I now feel very optimistic about the future.  When I was first diagnosed I had a hard time dealing with my emotions and understanding how I was supposed to feel and how I was supposed to think about my future.  I didn’t know if that was something I was allowed to think about, and it took me a while, and I think that now I am able to focus on the moment and live in the day and I can’t control the future.  None of us know what it’s going to hold.  For now, I’m healthy, I’m happy, and I’m going to keep focusing on that. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on July 4, 2016