I often find myself motivated to write about my journey with multiple myeloma; however, I wonder if people tire of hearing about my experience with this disease. This past Tuesday, I had another of my semi-annual visits with my oncologist. These little updates/friendly chats on my health status follow a battery of tests I must suffer to determined how I’m doing. I have a great doctor, who spends more than enough time with me during these little visits. He has a great bedside manner, and we talk just as much or more about topics outside of my cancer. Although we talked about a wide range of topics during this visit, the most important topic was, of course, that my cancer is still at bay. Although I’m not in remission, I’m doing just fine.
I often rib my doctor about the fact that I used to hear a lot about finding a cure for multiple myeloma, especially at the time I was diagnosed. Now, it seems most of the conversations he and I have are about managing the disease. I’m certainly glad and thankful that I’m living a rewarding and relatively healthy life with multiple myeloma. I can’t help but to ask him occasionally what happened to the cure. He always offers this comeback: People with high blood pressure are managing their disease and living long, productive lives. The situation with multiple myeloma has reached that level for many patients, and I’m one of them. I’m still trying to align multiple myeloma with high blood pressure, but I can’t argue with twenty-one years of survival.
After visiting with my doctor, I had to sit in the examination room for a short while, waiting on the nurse to finish up a few things: answering any lingering questions, clarifying my orders for the following six months, arranging lab appointments to collect blood. While waiting, it occurred to me that I should provide an update to my Facebook friends. I’m active on several Facebook pages. The ones most important to share information about my health are my personal page, a church related page I set up for chronic illness support and one called Myeloma Patients. The latter functions much like a support group, with patients ranging from recently diagnosed to old warriors like me. The new patients are usually fearful of their situation, trying to latch onto any amount of hope they can find. Responses to my post started to come in immediately. Some were amazed at the length of time I’ve survived with this disease. Others expressed the hope my experience gives them. A few even asked me what I’m doing to be experiencing such good fortune. Within thirty minutes of the post, there were over fifty responses; likes, positive comments, etc.
I’m at my laptop composing this blog on Sunday afternoon, five days after my post to Facebook made in my doctor’s examination room. Responses are still coming in, at last count over 800 hundred. I used to be hesitant to share the good news of my survival. For some reason, I felt it brought too much attention to me. The longer I live, the longer good fortune surrounding multiple myeloma comes my way, the more I realize my story must be shared. God is amid it all! That’s a situation you just have to roll with.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.
Your story is too positive to not share. You are able to provide hope to many of the others out there with Myeloma. Keep it up….
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Old and Blessed, what great inspiration you are. Your Facebook response, and response in general, just goes to show, people are inspired by Love, Hope & Faith more than anything we can imagine. We live our experiences for each other; whether it is positive or negative. We Live To Live, there’s no other way to expose God.
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JLEM, thanks for the kind words. May God continue to bless you in ways that you cannot imagine.
I felt much the same about my colostomy a few years ago – from devastated at the beginning to realising how much I could encourage others through my experiences, both positive and negative. Everything works to good for those who believe! Thank you for this, my friend.
I was with you standing outside Washington Regan Airport when you got the call from your doctor that changed your life. Never will I forget your poise and stoic reaction. These many years you have continued to amaze me with your strength, to which I, too, believe, involves a good bit of devine intervention. You are an amazing man, Hosea Long, and I will forever admire your strength and calm demeanor. May you live many, many more years. As I recently heard, “Don’t let the old man/woman in.” . .
Patti, you’re a good friend and one of the shinning lights I experienced in my years of working in higher education human resources. Your words are always uplifting. Thank so much!