MPN Patient Advocate
Deb Wesloh lives in Bulverde Texas. She has been married to her husband Kevin for 34 years and they have three boys; Kris, Joe and Josh. She retired as an Army Officer in 2005 and now works as government civilian at an organization that assists Soldiers separating from the Army get their Veterans Affairs claims adjudicated appropriately.
She holds Bachelor degrees in Biology and Health and Master Degrees in Health Informatics and Health System Science. She was an adjunct professor at St. Phillips College from 2005-2008, instructing medical terminology.
Deb is a three year breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with early stage invasive ductal carcinoma and underwent treatment in 2016 and 2017 to include chemotherapy and a bilateral mastectomy. She was also diagnosed with a blood cancer called polycythemia vera (PV) that same year.
Although the breast cancer diagnosis was not a complete surprise – her mom had it twice – the PV was. She, at the time of diagnosis was a long distance runner, was in excellent physical shape and did not have any symptoms except elevated blood levels.
Even though PV can’t be cured but she is undergoing treatment (Jakafi) that has so far proved to be moderately effective. It has made her numerous symptoms manageable and has improved her overall quality of life.
She supports multiple Veteran and cancer organizations as a participant, volunteer, advocate or mentor to include; Warrior Cry Music Project, Team Red, White and Blue (RWB), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Curtain Up Cancer Foundation, Gemini Ink, Casting for Recovery, Sandra’s Hope Foundation, After Breast Cancer Diagnosis (ABCD) and Soldiers Songs and Voices.
As a writer, she has participated in a number of storytelling productions through Curtain Up Foundation and Gemini Ink. In addition, she had a cancer-related short story published in a literary journal called High Noon. She is a regular contributor to the online journal Blood-Cancer.com.
through an organization called Health Union. She has had eight short cancer related stories published. In addition, she has co-wrote a few songs, including one called You Can Go about moving forward following a cancer diagnosis. Her goal is to continue to use writing as a means to provide awareness for both breast cancer and polycythemia vera…and to someday write a book on her experiences.
Other interests include race-walking, biking, reading, playing guitar, photography and spending time with her family.
Because of two cancers impacting her life, she knows her future is uncertain. Therefore, she likes to live large, take risks, do crazy and unusual things that are way out of her comfort zone. She tries to make each day count and is determined not to let this all defeat her or diminish her joy of life.