“ALL RIGHT! ALL RIGHT!” Jeez, you guys. I’m just tryin’ to be a little entertainin’ here. You don’t have to get all huffy.” I stared back at the crowd glowering at me. I’d gotten the invitation to stop by for a quick chat, not realizing that there was going to be some kind of intervention. But here they were, all these Deludia readers, all up in my face. I walk in and the next thing I know I’m being yelled at.

“Look, Bob. It’s not that we don’t appreciate your attempts at trying some artistic writing, but we come here to read about Multiple Myeloma, treatments, how it affects us and maybe the things we can do about it. No offense, but if we wanted pulp fiction we’d rent a Bruce Willis movie.”

“Okay. I can see your point. But whoever said that this was a Myeloma blog? Huh? Answer me that!”

“Well, you sort of intimated it by spending the last four years writing about it.”

“Oh, well, okay. I guess there’s that…” I screwed my mouth up and considered their point. I remember when I was first diagnosed I was reading everything I could find, trying to learn as much as I could and to see if I could get some idea of what was going to happen to me.  It was, after all, pretty scary.  Then again, so was a lot of what I was reading. Then again, a lot of it annoyed me too, especially all of the inspirational stuff. People talking about how heroic we all were instead of telling it like it is …was.. well, you know.

“Now, don’t get offended Bob. Some of us like the stuff you write. It’s not like we hate you or anything. We just feel that you should dedicate a little more time to talking to us about how things are going with you. Some of us have kind of taken a liking to you, you old dog. We want to hear about your treatment and how you’re dealing with it. You know, that kind of stuff.”

“Huh. Well, that’s just the point. I mean why I’ve been writing about other stuff. I’m not taking treatment. There aren’t any treatments for me to take.”

“You’re kidding! But there have been all kinds of improvements –new medications, new methodologies. Aren’t you trying any of those?”

“Well, no, actually. The new drugs are analogs of the old ones that didn’t do me any good. The improvements have been in the reduction of side effects for the most part. I guess there’s been some improvement in efficacy, but it’s not a significant margin. Anyway, the doctors still feel they won’t do me any good, and so taking them would still be a wasted effort, only I’d be somewhat less affected by side effects. But basically, it would still make me pretty uncomfortable for no real benefit.”

“Oh. Well, you could tell us about that, couldn’t you?”

“Well, I just did, and that’s not the first time I’ve mentioned it. I guess you don’t read enough of my posts. I mean, that’s okay, no one is twisting your arm or anything. But I was feeling like a broken record there. ‘Dear Deludians, today is just like yesterday, it kinda sucks, but it could be worse.’ I was sounding sort of like a whiner. Actually, now I’m feeling guilty for not being a secretor –or whatever they call the opposite of non-secretors like me. I almost wish I had a whole bunch of problems to talk about.”

“Gosh, Bob. We don’t mean to make you feel bad. We’re just hoping for something a little more, uh –what are we looking for, guys? Uh, something more informative. Not that we don’t appreciate you attempts at artistic writing. I mean, it’s great, right everybody?”


“Okay, let me see. I have been experiencing a number of problems and the bone deterioration has been progressing. Um, I have nephrotic syndrome, you know, I’m all swollen and bloated so I have to take Lasix and Potassium. Oh! I increased my morphine dose by 15 milligrams.  Twice daily.”

A smattering of applause wells up. “That’s great, Bob. Glad to hear it. I mean, we’d hate to lose you as one of our writers. We need every Myeloma blogger we’ve got.”

“Wow, I’m honored that I could make you feel better. See, I was sorta hoping that my being a guy with Multiple Myeloma that wrote about other stuff than being sick might be an encouraging thing. You know, show that cancer doesn’t have to consume your whole life and everything.”

“Well, Bob. It’s nice of you to think like that. But stop and think. What if the International Myeloma Foundation or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation took that attitude?  There’d be all of this, um, interesting er, fiction out there, but where would we get information on Multiple Myeloma?”

“Wow. I see your point. I never thought about that. Thanks for pointing that out. I really appreciate it. Seriously. I do.”

“Glad we could help, Bob.”

“Okay, well, now that we have that out of the way, check this out. I had this idea for a story about Vietnam that recalls when I… hey! Where’s everybody going? This is good stuff! This is what was happening while I was catching cancer! That’s relevant isn’t it? Hello?”