Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Green with Joy

I've suspected all along that I was going to be a tough case. It was a disappointment, but not really a surprise, when Dr A started talking about more chemo as early as last December.

I know how long I felt bad (2 years) before I presented any symptoms other than fatigue. Then I was misdiagnosed for six months. And although the results can be somewhat inaccurate, my bone marrow biopsy at diagnosis showed 80% cancerous cells. I've never heard of another BMB that high. I also know how I feel: the bone pain, the muscle cramps, the fatigue. Initially, the back surgery produced some significant pain relief, but it did not eliminate my back pain. I've seen the actual MRI and PET scans; I've read the reports. While I try to stay positive and hopeful every day, in my heart, I've known that I would not have a quick or easy road to remission.

I was explaining to someone why I'm having more chemo. I told her about several MM pals who achieved CR (Complete Response or Complete Remission) after just one course of chemo, or after a successful stem cell transplant. She said, "Gosh, I think I'd be so jealous! Aren't you jealous?"

Well, actually...yes. YES! OF COURSE, I'M JEALOUS!

I'm jealous and joyful. The fact that I'm envious of their success does not diminish my complete, utter joy and delight in their good results. Turns out cancer is a team sport. I've got one hell of a team, and I want nothing but the best for every single one of my teammates. When I hear good news about any of them, I feel that it's my good news, too. Margaret, John, Rita, Pam, Mike, Dave, and all the rest (and their awesome caregivers) who are in my thoughts and prayers daily: your good health is probably the best medicine in the world for me right now! Thanks for being on my team.

Now, about those uniforms...


tim's wife said...

When Tim's SCT failed while everyone else went into remission,
of course we wished we had the same outcome but NEVER did I begrudge any of them, who are now the dearest of friends to us,their
health and remission. Unfortunately, not everyone is like this. Recently, on the myeloma listserv, a guy wrote in telling us that his doctor had pronounced him cured. I, and I'm sure others, responded with congratulations and wishes for continued good health. Others on the list blasted him for using the word "cured" and basically told him he was fooling himself etc. I don't think I've seen a post from him again. Very sad. Not helpful to anyone. It's OK to be mad about one's illess and yes, jealous when
you hear a success story but to begrudge someone their health is
taking it too far. It feels much better to celebrate with them.

Sandy said...

Each success gives us hope... as the relative of an MM I rejoice at each CR knowing that while this disease is very indivualized, the commonality of certain treatments bringing positive results means that the researchers have more information to utilize, possibly for my loved one.
This dire situation each family goes through with MM does bring out anger and frustration, but it is definitely inappropriate (at best) to lay that out on the public forum and especially to the one blessed with remission! I liked your "Green with Joy" presentation!