9 Years Ago Today Reality Hit Me… First Bone Marrow Biopsy

12.18.18

Been in and out the bathroom most all of the day, and yesterday, and the day before, etc. The Radiology team wasn’t kidding when they told me I would “probably” have lower GI side effects for a week or 2 or beyond, since my lower abdomen, spine, sacrum and pelvis area was the targeted area for treatment. Love the irony of my anniversary days where I have symptoms and side effects that remind me how sick I was back when I was diagnosed. Well I’ve been sick for 9 years now, so what else is new!

It’s difficult for a “healthy and normal” person to understand the never ending treatment and side effects of Myeloma. In my case, I haven’t been well for 9 years for sure, and I’ll add in the year or 2 before I was diagnosed! And then the incomprehensible factor of daily, weekly, monthly, yearly treatment, non stop, which then causes daily, weekly, monthly, yearly side effects. I try to describe to my “well” friends and family what it is like TO KNOW you will be sick several days out of EVERY week, no matter what, because of the medication crash. Yes, imagine knowing, and planning for BEING SICK, feeling lousy, for 3 or 4 days a week, every week of the year! Hard to comprehend right? Well that’s my life. My current “Medication Monday” means the side-effects crash happens Wednesday through Saturday, with Thursday and Friday often the yuckiest. But it’s different every week. I never know how I will feel, what side effects will hit me, when, what, how… But imagine, KNOWING, every week you will feel sick. That’s just your life now. Feeling sick and yucky every week. Hello Myeloma… The Gift That Keeps On Giving…

So anyway… wasn’t planning to rant about that today, but the lovely lower GI side effects have taken over my life for the last week. I’m just like my horses… In one end and Out the other…

But onwards… to “celebrating” my 9 year anniversary milestones! 9 years ago today, 12.18.2009, I was “surprised” with my first Bone Marrow Biopsy. Yes surprised, as I don’t recall that it was scheduled (to my knowledge) as part of my appointment for that fateful 12.18.09. See, each time I took labs, my doctors became more and more concerned. When we met, she “gently” indicated the seriousness of my situation, and that I would need to have a Bone Marrow Biopsy done to determine what was exactly going on. I suspect she knew my diagnosis, as I learned quickly, a BMB confirms the diagnosis of Myeloma and other blood, bone cancers. No doubt, having that painful procedure done, was a turning point in my new medical journey. Up to that point, I really believed I was just seriously Anemic, with other related side effects, but I really never entertained the thought of a “deadly diagnosis”.

I remember my sweet Dr and her nursing staff talking me through the procedure, as I was trying to be brave, light hearted, and nonchalant about the procedure. But with each jab, stab, grind, pound, drilling into my bone and marrow, the reality of my situation “pounded” me with each pound of the medical tools. I’m not quick to cry, but I did then. I began to sob uncontrollably. The pain was so symbolic of my realization of the seriousness of my circumstances. I cried, my body quaking and shaking, as I apologized to my Dr and Nurses. I remember saying something like, “I’m a really sick puppy aren’t I?” …. I don’t recall their response, but I know it was kind and supportive and non committal or definitive. I cried more on the way home, as my husband and daughter tried to comfort me, as they too were scared and confused… Yes, 12.18.2009 was the beginning of my new reality, that something serious was happening to me, but I’d have to wait until my appointment, 12.30.09 for the results. Happy Holidays to me, right?! Yes, I had to wait 12 days. Through Christmas, and up until almost New Years to find out what the results of my first Bone Marrow Biopsy was….

Fast forward to now…
Here’s my current status and update…

See those words…
“too many areas”…
Yes, Myeloma is eating me up
Another reality check for me
But here’s a little good news!
IGA is down from last labs-
Was 2000
But still 4x the high end of normal… 
And so…. this time 9 years ago, Myeloma was RAGING inside of me, and I had NO IDEA. Today, on this 18th day of December, nearing the end of my 8th year living with Myeloma, I am so grateful to still be here, yet always so stunned that I write these posts about me! I truly cannot believe what happened to me this time 9 years ago, and can’t believe everything I’ve survived, and what I continue to do, just to survive. Yesterday in the chemo lab was another reality check for me. So many of the patients there “looked” seriously ill, and one I know from meeting there several times, was having a really really rough time. Although I feel “sick” most of the time, my “sick” is not nearly as bad as so many I see, know. I’m depleted, exhausted, fatigued, nauseated, have lower GI issues, have pain from all my bone involvement, but “in comparison” to so many terminally ill cancer patients, I ‘m doing ok, 9 years into this ridiculous battle. When I tell people my Monday Madness Regimen, where I take 10 steroid pills in the morning, then go for my Velcade shot in the belly, then take 8 Cytoxan pills when I get home, most stare at me in disbelief. And I remind everyone, I’ve been doing some sort of chemo CONTINUALLY for almost 9 years now, to stay alive! Crazy stuff! 
Thanks for reading, caring, commenting, and sharing your journeys with me! Wishing you a super happy holiday season, and may your health allow you to celebrate your “reason for the season” with your family, friends and loved ones.