Yesterday, I had my 100 day post stem cell transplant for Multiple Myeloma. To quote the Dr. at the University of Minnesota, “You are doing great!” I am in a stable remission and now we will discuss maintenance medication. Those medications come with their own set of risks, but at least now I have future to discuss.
My cancer was very widespread and active when they found it. I had been suffering undiagnosed for years until my bones became so brittle that I got one of my back fractures just trying to floss my teeth. Every bone in my spine has been damaged by this cancer…as the doctor said yesterday the radiologist wrote a book just about my spine in his report.
To walk for the past two years, I have had to use a walker. My spine was so painful and weak that I couldn’t support my own body. Flash forward to today, I have survived months of chemo, and the stem cell transplant and now can pull blue jeans on for the first time in two years and walked in the examining room yesterday all on my own — no walker. My doctor was thrilled.
Becoming sick and disabled from an accident or disease is devastating emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. You are forced to accept pain as just a part of your daily life, and you have to eventually accept that life will never again be the same. You have to learn to live with the fear of your own mortality and you question your spiritual beliefs. You plead and beg for an answer to “Why Me?”
Every mortal soul on this earth is going to experience the big “Why Me?” Whether it is response to their own or a loved one’s pending death, severe disease or even a job loss. Throughout this time of challenge I have learned a couple of things, but the most important lesson I learned was I was never alone. God’s presence was always there, carrying me when I wanted to quit and providing peace when everything felt so out of control.
No amount of medication can give you peace, it can numb you pretty good, knock you out, but it can’t bring you the kind of peace I have experienced. That kind of irrational peace at times of severe stress only comes from God. Yes, I have felt peace in the midst of this health hurricane and that only could come from God.
I learned that God really does exist and he loves me. I know that God heard my prayers and prayers on my behalf. No matter how desolate I felt, always someone stepped up to care for me so that I wouldn’t have to struggle through this all alone. Sometimes it was people that I felt should want to help me, because they love me, many times it was strangers who felt that it was God calling them to do his work.
Cancer is a thief more than a murderer. Eventually we are all going to die, but cancer’s great power is to rob it’s victim of peace of mind, prevent those affected from having the energy to live life in the way they were previously accustomed, and it changes relationships. Some relationship get stronger and others become irreparably damaged.
I feel that his cancer has robbed me of two years of my life and that of being involved in the life of my grandson, it has prevented me from traveling to see my Uncle with memory loss or see my parents on the farm, it has prevented me from emotionally and physically being the wife I used to be, it cost me my job as the press secretary to the Minnesota Secretary of State, but the most grievous sin of this cancer was it made me so sick I missed my only daughter’s wedding. I will never forgive it for that.
It felt good to have chemo and fight back.
I will never forget the kindness and strength of faith I witnessed in so many of my caregivers. I would not be here today without them. I also will never forget how much it hurt not to get the support I needed, when I was in the arena fighting the cancer beast. I will be there for others.
I am so glad that my treatment has been successful and that the beast is now under control. It has been a vile vindictive aggressive monster. I will rob cancer of its curse by again feeling joy, I will start each day by remembering that it is a day that the Lord has made and I will be glad and rejoice in it.
I again am looking forward to life, it may not end up being a long life, but it is still a life and is meant to be lived to fullest in relationship with Jesus my Savior and those that I love.
Life is good and I am blessed.