Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Here's what I know about multiple myeloma:

  1. It's a form of blood cancer that forms in your bone marrow. Normal plasma cells transform into malignant myeloma cells and produce large amounts of an abnormal protein called monoclonal protein (or M protein) which then interferes with normal blood production by crowding out the 'good' blood cells.
  2. Most people are diagnosed with it in their mid-60's.
  3. Multiple myeloma accounts for only 1.5% of all newly diagnosed cancer patients.
  4. 24,000 people will be diagnosed with it in 2015.
  5. Men are diagnosed more frequently than women.
  6. Blacks are diagnosed twice as often as whites.
  7. I usually love being an 'outlier'; this time, not so much.
  8. Geraldine Ferraro had it. She died from it.
  9. Tom Brokaw has it. He's temporarily in remission. He also has a medical team of doctors at Mayo Clinic and Sloan Kettering; a spouse of 50+ years, an apartment in NYC, a ranch in Montana and more money than God.
  10. I have multiple myeloma.
  11. I am not Tom Brokaw.
  12. The 5 year survival rate is 47%.
  13. It's not curable. They say it's 'manageable'.

I suspect in the weeks and months to come, 
I'll learn more than I'd ever hoped to know about this disease.

If cancer is going to inhabit my body, 
in whatever form, 
for the rest of my life,
there's a part of me that thinks
I should make peace with it. 
Maybe at some point I'll have to.

Right now, 
I'm all for kicking its ass.


Unknown said...

Kick it! At our age, all our futures are incurable but "manageable." Plan to live fully every day you're here -- that's all anyone can do.

aimee said...

Kick it like the rock star you are!

Richard said...

Invite it for dinner. Pretend to make peace with it. Give it a big flirty smile. And then........... the moment it looks away and you sense it's nice and comfy.........beat it's fucking ass like there's no tomorrow. At least give that a try. If that doesn't work, send in the drones.