On March 2nd of this year, my life was upended when I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (https://themmrf.org/multiple-myeloma/
) cancer. I had been experiencing rib and chest pain last November and knowing I had an old rib injury that resurfaced, figured it would clear up. On the contrary, it kept getting worse, spreading across my ribs and into my lower back. Having changed to government health insurance after an early retirement in January (oh the timing!), it took a long time to find anyone that would even see me. When I finally did, they did blood work, took chest x-rays and prescribed some modest pain medication. They found nothing, said they would investigate further, but to this day never even called back.
As the pain grew nearly unbearable, I decided to pay the extra $$ and get on my COBRA plan so I could go see my long time doctor. By this time in mid-February, I had self-diagnosed enough to know that some sort of cancer was a distinct possibility. He ordered an immediate battery of lab work, nuclear medicine bone scans, full body x-rays, etc. Results from this first batch of testing identified cancer throughout my ribcage and spine. Additionally, as this type of cancer impacts the bones, they discovered 4 fractured ribs along with multiple fractures in my lower spine. How the initial lab work and x-rays a month earlier as order by the ‘alternative doctor’ missed all of this is beyond me. But, we lost a month.
I was admitted to the hospital on Friday March 5th. The goal being pain management and discovery of how far along I am. Urinalysis, multiple CAT scans, bone marrow biopsy, the list goes on. I have started daily out-patient radiation treatments on my spine to assist with that pain.
Now it is the waiting game. I have appointments every day next week, but my oncologist won’t tell me the ‘how long/what stage’ until he has compiled all results and draws up a plan of action. Keep getting delays due to more testing. Just tell me SOMETHING, good or bad. The process could use some tweaking. So, at the time of this writing, I don’t know if I have weeks, months or years to live. I am trying to stay optimistic, but frankly the results (that I can decipher) don’t look too promising and that aligns with what my body is telling me. I just want to be here with my wife and family as long as God is willing. On the other end, I have no fear of death. I have full faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; and know that I will be in good hands on the other side - ready to greet you all with music, laughter and eternal joy.
Who knows, maybe I will be blessed with some time to hang out with you all of my friends again – that would be great!