Richard was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, cancer that develops in plasma cells, in 2014. Here he reflects on a few aspects of his experience with this condition with no known cause.
Onset of Symptoms
[I sought medical help after a] steadily increasing extreme pain in my back which was symptomatic of the myeloma going active along my spine. This caused a 6.5-inch height loss due to spinal degeneration and a loss of 50 pounds.
Putting the Experience Into Words
I have written two stories about my experiences as a cancer patient over the past six years. The first describes the process I have used to say “goodbye” to spouse, children, grandchildren and close friends.
The second writing focuses on the meaning of hope. It was written as a reaction to my role as a virtual support group moderator (Blood Cancers, ANCAN) in which members frequently and almost exclusively talk about hope within the context of new or existing treatments for their cancer. So, hope is merely defined within the scope of either surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. This story offers a different perspective.
Read more about Richard’s journey in Cure’s online magazine.
In Sickness & Health
My spouse [is my greatest source of support]. She is an RN with a PhD in Nursing. She provided not only medical support but emotional and loving support as well.
Advice for Others with Multiple Myeloma
Find someone to talk with who can focus not only the medical/scientific aspects of the disease but on the emotional aspects as well.
Feel empowered to meet the disease head-on and develop the confidence to work each and every day to accept the challenges of the disease and then move on.
Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2014.
Are you managing a rare form of cancer or other condition? Let us know in a comment or join us and share your story.