Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Thanks to all those who have written and asked for an update on my health.

To sum up...
it's as good as it's gonna get! 

I am fully cognizant of the fact that 
at my age 
I won't be getting healthier
more fit
less stiff, crunchy 
or stronger.

So I've learned to appreciate the days when I'm relatively pain free,
can move through all my obligations and make it home 
before I take off my bra, collapse in a heap 
and rot my mind while watching TLC
or fall asleep during Masterpiece - 

clearly I still aspire to be smarter!
I continue to make the rounds every two months 
of my Internist, Rheumatologist and Oncologist.

I get monthly blood work (vials and vials worth);
now that I think of it, 
maybe that's why I'm tired!
The diagnosis the docs have settled on is that I have
severe Rheumatoid arthritis and smoldering myeloma -
who knew 'smoldering' anything
was even a legitimate thing?

It means I have a malignant process going on in my bone marrow,
the manufacturing of an extra type of protein,
but I have none of the end stage organ failure that goes along with multiple myeloma.

All multiple myelomas begin as smoldering myeloma
but not all smoldering myelomas go on to develop to multiple myeloma;
does that make sense?

If you're from St Louis, 
the analogy that fits best is that I'm the human equivalent of

You know there's dangerous shit going on just below the surface,
so you constantly monitor everything you can
 in order to try to predict when all hell's going to break loose -
while you figure out how to head it off if and when it does.

Chances are good nothing will ever come of all the smoldering; 
that I'll die while on a Mission trip or coming home from Schnucks...

and that's when it hit me.

This diagnosis doesn't mean anything - 
except that it makes me exactly like everyone else.

All kinds of dangerous, life threatening stuff could happen
without warning.

No amount of monitoring 
or self care
 is going to change the outcome.
There's no supplement that can prevent our inevitable end.

Yet I take some supplements that can't hurt
and the medication the doctors say WILL help

I'm living each day as fully as I can.
Laughing, loving, working, worrying, 
looking forward to future travels, new family members,
exciting changes in the lives of people I love 
and in the communities to which I belong.

Despite what the arrow says on the diagram above,
I'm here,
right here,
right now,
actively looking for
and finding 
every day.
Life is good.

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