Julia and Pat Pallentino
As a Nurse Practitioner, Julia Pallentino felt that her recurrent back pain was no cause for alarm. In 2011, a couple months before a planned vacation, the pain began to get worse and her chiropractor demanded she see an orthopedist. A large plasmacytoma was discovered on her spine, yet she had no other CRAB features of myeloma. Unhindered by the diagnosis, Julia went on a scuba diving trip with her husband shortly thereafter. (Her husband Pat did carry her equipment, however!) Because she wanted to continue with her very active lifestyle, her first two therapies were oral chemotherapy drugs in combination with dexamethasone. Eventually, Julia did undergo a stem cell transplant in 2013. She kept pictures of fishes and marine life in her room, and managed to take another scuba diving trip a fair amount of time after transplant. After relapsing in 2015, today she is on a maintenance plan that includes Ninlaro. Julia’s personal goal is to help those who attend her local support group and are newly diagnosed.