Face it. There are times when you want what you want. For me it’s probably more the rule than the exception. I’ve actually gotten pretty bad about it since diagnosis and inexcusably bad in the 7 months since I received my Auto Stem Cell Transplant. I have the attitude that life is too short not to do the things I want. It hasn’t always been that way for me. In fact, I think I hardly ever got what I wanted. Ever. They say that having cancer changes a person. It’s true with me because I think I have a better understanding of why I never used to get what I wanted.
I was two weeks past my second divorce and was a year and a half away from being an empty nester. I was committed to focus on my Marine Corps career. The last thing I wanted was another relationship. The only thing I can say I was ever really good at was being a Marine and being a dad. At that point in my life, I felt like a failure when it came to relationships so imagine my surprise when I met this amazing woman who also wasn’t looking for anything and after about an hour of talking, we decided to go to lunch. We did a lot of talking and we talked about how I had a 16 year old son. She had a 3 year old daughter. We both were coming off a breakup and we both were adamant about not having any relationships. We married three months later. Three years later I adopted our daughter.
We’ve been married for 9 years. We are truly soul mates. We compliment each other in almost every way. I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. She has been my saving grace. Our relationship has allowed us to heal from past mistakes while building a future for the three of us.
My wife gave me my daughter. She is every bit as beautiful inside and out as her mother is. I couldn’t imagine a life with her not in it. She makes my heart smile.
Fast forward to today and we have spent the better part of the past two years learning about Myeloma and what it means for me and my family. I’ve gone through induction therapy, a SCT and now I’m onto maintenance Revlimid. Unfortunately, I have been categorized into the High Risk group because of my FISH results.
I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my girls. I fight this fight because of them. They need me to stick around for a few more years. My wife is my strongest advocate. She fights the system when the system doesn’t listen. She keeps me in check so that I don’t go out and do something stupid…. she actually has developed a keen ability to read my mind. My daughter has lost her childhood innocence. I hate that. The silver lining in this is that I know she’s strong and capable and she has her momma’s fight in her.
That brings me back to getting what I want. I never wanted to get married again. I never wanted to raise another kid. I never wanted to get an incurable cancer. I never wanted any of this. The lesson I learned is as old as the world itself. God doesn’t give you what you want. He gives you what you need. I needed to go through a few bad relationships to prepare me for the woman I was made for. I needed to have a life full of obstacles because I needed to learn how to overcome adversity. I needed to have my daughter by side so I would keep fighting when I didn’t feel like it any more because she needs her dad.
All of these things have been put in my life because I need it. Multiple Myeloma will beat you down. It keeps coming and coming. I have a lifetime of experience overcoming adversity. I have a wife that is strong when I am at my weakest. I have a daughter that inspires me to keep going because I can’t let her down.
When I step back and look at the bigger picture, I’ve been given everything I need. The bonus for me is that I’ve got the things in life that I’ve always wanted, too.