You never forget the time you are told you have cancer. The 5 steps of dealing with grief start with the immediate feeling of isolation and complete denial of what you where just told. At least that was the way it was for me. Fast forward a year and a half and I’ve been through all 5 steps and I’m firmly in the acceptance phase. I accept that I have Multiple Myeloma. So, during a conversation with my wife, she made a comment to me that took me all the way back to that first time I heard the words Multiple Myeloma. We were discussing my disease when she made the comment that I have a “Death Sentence”.
I couldn’t disagree more with that statement. Somewhere along the way, I quit focusing on the simple fact that I will one day succumb to something caused by the damage Myeloma is doing to my body because today is not that day! I don’t think describing this as a death sentence is accurate. I can be alive for decades with today’s treatment options. I think it’s more realistic to look at being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma as a “Life Sentence”.
Since diagnosis, I have a renewed outlook on life. I’m not stuck in the cycle of waking up, going to work, coming home, going to sleep, repeat. I no longer live to work. I’ve kept myself busy to be sure. I’ve been through 5 rounds of chemotherapy and I’m 79 days post stem cell transplant. There is a lot of effort and energy that goes into fighting Myeloma, but I’m enjoying life again. I take pleasure in doing things that I haven’t had the time or the energy to do. I look forward to being alive. I wake up every day now with a new sense of hope and with the knowledge that I have been given another chance to live.