As the business half of this crazy adventure gets underway, I find myself needing to write down the bones of the experience much more frequently. So much has happened, is happening and about to happen all the same time, that a daily deluge of the facts, thoughts and emotions that bind it all together is proving increasing therapeutic. And instead of hiding those thoughts safely in the core of an Apple, I thought I’d turn up the flow slightly on this blog.
It’s been just over 4 months now since I was diagnosed with IGA Kappa Multiple Myeloma (MM). A form of cancer arising from plasma cells, a type of white blood cell which is made in the bone marrow. A devastating sucker punch from Life on the one hand; a peculiarly welcome wake up call on the other.
//4 months feels like an inconceivably small amount of time given the tremendous changes that have been forced on myself and my family, since that weightless evening of November 27th. Isn’t Time only supposed to fly when you’re having fun? //
Brief slip into cynicism aside, right now we’re in a quiet pause between the two treatment tranches they structure for my dis-ease. The first part using what they call ‘Novel Agents’, the second a considerably more aggressive, and to some extent traditional arsenal of chemotherapy and the main event; a Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant. The proverbial (one hopes) knock out blow. Although sadly MM is incurable at this current time, but thankfully increasingly treatable once under control.
The situation post Novel Agent stage is as good as I could have hoped. All the dis-ease markers and blood counts are back within the normal ranges, and in the words of my Haematologist: “you’re as good as in Complete Remission”.
Normally news like this would be polished with high fives and flying corks, but since I decided I was in Remission from the moment I was diagnosed, a knowing grin was all they got. I firmly believe that a well shaken cocktail of measured denial*, steely determination and love fuelled positivity has contributed immeasurably to where I am today.
* // Interestingly, recent studies have proven that an attitude of denial amongst cancer patients who choose instead to focus on all the amazing reasons for getting healthy and staying alive results in faster and longer Remission achievements. NB Denial does not mean bury. In this case it simply means accepting, ignoring and fuelling it with zero energy of any kind. //
So here’s the rub: in 3 days times I roll into the 2nd and considerably more invasive stage of the treatment, as healthy and cancer-free as I could be without going back in time 6 months. Posing the obvious question: do I ‘really’ need to put myself through it?
The clinical answer is of course, yes. It’s a big wrestle but once it’s done (I’m told) I should be in a much more significant state of Remission, and my Remission period should be 1 – 2 years longer.
I’m not entirely comfortable with the term ‘should’ being used by professional physicians, neither will allow any sort of time predication be set by anyone but myself. One thing I’ve learned; Time becomes priceless real-estate when faced with such a cruel protagonist, and renting someone elses opinion is pointless. With my family beside me, we’re developing for the long-term.
Nearly there my angel, nearly there.
Peace and Calm.