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Lori Puente, of California, serves as a care partner to her husband Dave, a multiple myeloma patient at UAMS. When Dave was diagnosed with multiple myeloma back in 2008, Lori said she didn’t even know what multiple myeloma was.
Two years later following treatment at the UAMS Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, Dave Puente is in remission and has returned to work as a telecommunications engineer. Lori now speaks to myeloma patients and care partners at events.
Lori describes how being a care partneris integral to the patient’s health and recovery. She had to know what to do and who to call when her husband came down with a fever or was in pain. She also had to keep track of his medication schedule.
Lori said she and her husband feel fortunate to have found the Myeloma Institute. Through the course of his treatment, she felt supported as a caregiver. The nurses and staff were always willing to help her.
“I was so grateful to them for their willingness to give me the immediate support I needed,” she said. “They gave me every opportunity to get the data I needed to do my job as his caregiver."
One outlet Lori found was a blog, which started out as an electronic means to update family and friends on her husband’s condition as treatment progressed. She continues to write online now about life and her journey as a multiple myeloma care partner at her blog Riding the Wave, which she says is healing to her.
Lori was recently selected by Millennium Pharmaceuticals for their Millennium Myeloma Ambassador program. As part of the program, she will tell her story to support groups, conferences and other meetings.
“If there was one message I would hope to convey, it would be to have courage,” Lori said before her talk at the MIRT Meet. “My parents taught me that you never know how you’ll do until you face a challenge and that you should never doubt your ability to overcome that challenge.”