I'm writing this post in case someone recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma has stumbled across my blog. No doubt you've already been online for a while, reading a whole bunch of scary information and statistics, including the one about how you have three years to live. Well, here I am, and today is my fourth anniversary of being diagnosed, and I am perfectly fine. Fine.
I'm not cancer-free, and maybe I never will be cancer-free, but I am completely drug-free and also completely healthy, other than that pesky little spike in my blood. I feel perfectly normal. I exercise every day and chase around a four-year-old. My life is perfectly normal -- as long as you count driving around with a concrete goose in the back of my car "perfectly normal." I call myself "Cancer Girl", but I rarely feel like one. I spent two years on medication and, yes, the dex made me a little crazy and a lot tired and cranky, but really it could have been much worse, compared with what a lot of other cancer patients go through.
I have more than 10 million stem cells that have been sitting on ice for two years now (two years!!), and I hope those suckers never see the light of day again.
New developments in myeloma treatments are happening all the time. When I was first diagnosed, Revlimid was still in clinical trials. A year and a half later, when I needed it, it was approved by the FDA and ready for me.
I know I've been really, really lucky that my disease has so far been really lazy and non-aggressive, and I know myeloma is different in every patient. I know a lot of people need to launch a full-fledged attack on the disease right away. I just hope newly diagnosed patients find this and can know that it's possible for things to turn out OK.
Here I am, four years after being diagnosed with a "you'll-be-dead-in-three-years" disease, and I'm nowhere near death's door. I'm not even in death's driveway. Heck, right now I'd need a very fancy GPS to find death's neighborhood, and I'm not even sure I'd end up on the right street. I've never been very good with directions.