My name is Susan Brennan. I am now 54 years old. In 2014 I was living a perfectly normal life, socialising, working, going to the gym – all the things that I enjoyed.

As the months went by, I found it harder and harder to get out of bed, to the point that some days I would actually crawl back into bed as l could not face the day. It was an extreme tiredness and my body ached.

It was very difficult to explain as no one could understand the level of tiredness that I was feeling.

In late 2014 I went to my GP for blood tests. These tests showed large red blood cells that were in a chain. This was referred to a Haematology Consultant.

He proceeded with scans and bone marrow testing which led to the diagnosis in June 2015 of Multiple Myeloma.

To say I was shocked was an understatement.

I was thrown into a world of uncertainty.

I was immediately sent for treatment. This treatment brought the paraprotein (cancer) in my blood to a level that they could proceed with collecting stem cells and could perform a stem cell transplant.

I spent 10 days in hospital in November 2015 building up my own stem cells for the transplant, and then another 16 days in January 2016 getting the transplant. It has been very successful as it brought the cancer in my blood back to nil.


Unfortunately, Multiple Myeloma is an incurable cancer.

It was followed up with maintenance therapy which I am still receiving. The stage after the transplant was very difficult as I had lost my hair and my confidence.

I tried to go back to work, but I was susceptible to so many infections as I now had a weakened immune system.

My energy levels were still extremely low still due to the infections, so I eventually had to retire as I could not cope with strain.

Since then, my consultant has put me on IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin), as well as Zomenta (a medication that may prevent bone damage in people with multiple myeloma).

The IVIG cannot be produced naturally, so it is given in the hospital to help with weak immune systems and to help fight infections.

This is a relatively new procedure and has helped me with my recovery so much, giving me back some resemblance of the life that I previously had. It has played a vital role in helping me function.


So many people do not know about Multiple Myeloma.

It is a silent killer as the indicators are not as obvious as in other cancers.

Listen to your body and act on its request.

I am not the normal type of person that is diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, and so it has been learning curve for me and my family. It is typically found in older people, and also found more so in men than in women.

It is now 2024, 8 years after my stem cell transplant. I am still in remission and I am back working full time.

I enjoy a good social life and love going on holidays. I am looking forward to many more years ahead thanks to the new treatments that combat infection.

Supporting and promoting research into this cancer is vital.

It is incurable and the treatments, although they are good and lifesaving, are very hard on your body.

I would be excited to see targeted therapy in the future, and a less invasive ways of treating this illness.


Multiple Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that develops in the bone marrow. It is mostly diagnosed in people over 65, but about 20% of people are under the age of 60 when diagnosed.