Ding Ding, Round Two!

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Dear friends, family, myeloma buddies (and anyone out there who happens to read this one day for whatever reason),

It’s that time again: after a healthy and happy 2013 my recent bone marrow biopsy results have shown that I need to start treatment again. I’ll post more on here when I know more about what that entails and when – I still have a few options to explore and decisions to make.

Last time around, I was in no fit state to tell you all about it directly and family and friends took on the tough role of Communications Team. This time around, I’ve decided to write a blog (with a fabulous name generously loaned – to be explained in another post). The idea is that it will help me to spend less time having repetitive conversations or painstakingly crafting individual emails to update people, and give everyone a bit of insight into what’s going on with me at any point in time. I’ve also benefited hugely from reading similar blogs during the last 19 months since I was diagnosed, so this is my chance to contribute in my turn to the small but fantastic online myeloma community. Finally, I’m looking forward to using it as a bit of a creative outlet. I hope to keep it mainly upbeat and humorous as that’s what helps me most, so if possible please keep any responses in that vein too. That said, I’ll be honest too about the hard things along the way: it wouldn’t do justice to those of us living with this horrible disease to do anything less.

What can you do? You can help me by cheering me along the way. Not everyone with cancer welcomes talk of battles and fighting: I can understand that. As a former English undergraduate, I’m allergic to the cliche (how many times does a lazy obituary state that someone died after ‘a long battle with cancer’?) On the other hand, cliches often arise from some form of truth. A fighting metaphor can be a powerful one. I wouldn’t ever punch anyone in real life (frankly, I can’t imagine it’d hurt them much if I did) but I’m bloody well going to fight metaphorically.

So, dear blog readers, I invite you to read this piece from today’s Guardian about an awesome fighting girl and consider yourself henceforth my very own my cheerleading male models in speedoes, shouting your loudest around the ring while I get on with the dirty business in the middle: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/11/nicola-adams-this-much-i-know

In this era of the all-pervasive interweb I don’t want my real or full name here linked to private medical information, so for the blogosphere I have christened myself Helga the Great (sounds pretty terrifying, eh?) and my adversary in the opposite corner can be Myeloma the Puny and doubtless many other insulting variations yet to be thought of. I’ve knocked him out for the count once before; he doesn’t stand a chance in Round Two.

Back in the real world (and I’ll come back to this in later posts), if anyone wants to raise money for Myeloma UK, that’d be a very practical way to support me and my small but feisty Viking tribe. There are only c.4700 people in the UK diagnosed each year. While I’m glad it’s no more, the flipside is there aren’t multitudes of fundraisers out there either. Without more money for more research there ain’t gonna be no cure. By ‘coming out’ like this in public (not an easy decision to make) I’m hoping to start the process of mobilising a whole bunch of people to make a difference.  Let’s see some Viking hordes forming with creative ideas of what to do! I will find out how to link it all to one account so we can keep a running tally. My cousin C already raised a stunning £4000+ through completing the Abu Dhabi marathon during my first treatment, so let me know if you have any ideas for building on that.

Yours, in good spirits:
H to the G.