Coincidences

I came across this quote when I was looking for a photo to accompany this post. At first I passed it by because I wasn’t sure if I liked what it said or if I even agreed with it. I will explain why.

Up until Aug of 2011, I had never even heard of a cancer called Multiple Myeloma. During that time, I heard that one of my co-workers had a husband that was fighting cancer so I asked her how he was doing and what kind of cancer he had. She told me that he had MM and tried to explain it to me. Since I like to be informed, I immediately ran to my favourite search engine and googled it. I came away with much more insight into this cancer. In November of 2011, her husband had a stem cell transplant and was doing very well. I quit my job in December, 2011 and within a month found out that Mr. B was diagnosed with MM also. So I guess I have to admit that this quote is true. I don’t think it was a mistake that I was working at this company and met a caregiver for someone who was battling this cancer. Because of her, I already had a basic knowledge of this cancer when Mr. B was diagnosed. So I have to admit that it was a blessing that I was able to learn from and not just a coincidence.
On Thursday of this past week, I received an email from a different woman in the same office. She had left our office about a year before I did but I had kept in contact with her. As a matter of fact, her new employment was at the same hospital where Mr. B spent 3 visits. I even ran into her in the hallway during his last hospitalization. She told me in the email that her husband was recently diagnosed with….wait for this…. Multiple Myeloma. So what are the chances of three people in the same office having husbands with the same cancer?
I had been told that Multiple Myeloma was a rare cancer so I did some research at the Canadian Cancer Society to find out some statistics. There are an estimated 186,400 new cases of cancer that will be diagnosed in 2012. Of those new cases, only 2,300 will be Multiple Myeloma cancer. So I guess it is not as common as lung, prostate, breast or colorector cancers which account for over 50% of all new cancers diagnosed. But it does seem to be an amazing coincidence that three people in the same office would have been affected by MM. I had also heard that Multiple Myeloma is the fastest growing cancer in the world with the most new cases diagnosed. I was only able to find two references to that statement and both were from about 10 years ago. I would be very curious to know how that statement stands today.
So I think that this quote was bang on for me. Knowing people that are struggling with this same cancer can turn into a blessing. Only those of us that are walking the same journey can truly understand what it is like. And I pray that I can be a blessing to any caregivers who have a loved one that was recently diagnosed with this horrible cancer.