Its been almost seven years since I was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. I’ve been receiving ongoing treatment ever since.
Unless caught early and treated aggressively, multiple myeloma isn’t curable. And even then, only one out of five patients go at least ten years without relapse.
My Mayo Clinic specialist never presented me with that option. Instead, he and a number of others have used what’s called the incremental approach; using as little as possible to keep my cancer under control.
At first it was common for me to need IV’s for several different therapies. Now, its unusual for me to need to do that.
Now, my chemotherapy is usually delivered sub q (by injection) or orally. But every so often I still need an IV so receive a bone strengthener (bisphosphonate) to help heal lesions that develop in my bones when the chemotherapy maintenance drug I’m using starts to slip.
So here I sit in a small, local infusion center in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida. Nice staff, comfortable, overstuffed recliners–and the oncology nurse did an awesome job starting the IV in my left hand.
No worries, except for memories of past battles, both for me and my wife, Pattie, a three time cancer survivor.
No one said living with cancer was going to be easy. Heck, no one thought I’d live longer than four years when I was diagnosed back in the spring of 2007.
My advice? Repeat the old saying after me: “Plan for the worst but expect the best!”
You could always add, “And expect to be surprised!”
I’m starting to do some volunteer work for the CrowdCare Foundation in Utah. The group is trying to help push important, underfunded cancer research forward, with an emphasis on types of things that can help patients right away.
Here’s a link to a post I wrote about it on my daily blog:
Why not spend my unexpected time helping others live longer, too? And if we do discover something that helps me live longer; BONUS TIME!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat