Occasionally, I love to indulge in a bit of pre-myeloma fanaticising, reminiscing really, about what I was like before this happened. Love is definitely the wrong word. I am not a sadomasochist. In recent weeks however, despite my best efforts, I have been looking back to what I was like at this time last year, and given what I know now, I find it all terribly interesting and somewhat tragic.

It was my friend’s birthday last Friday, on the solstice, and I could not help but think back to her birthday last year, when I rocked up for dinner wearing a sling. I was wearing a sling because I had been told in the days prior that I had injured my rotator cuff. I was not provided with a sling by the nice locum doctor*, but a search on google told me that this would help the healing process. That week really, was the start of it. I had noticed the pain before, but that was when I got off my bum, and went to see my GP. It was the start of the journey I now find myself on.

If I look back now, at the pain I experienced then and how, over the following two months before I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed, my body slowly deteriorated, it surprises me how blasé I was about it. It hurt sure, especially when August hit and it took 20 minutes to get out of bed, but in my mind, it was trivial. The cause I mean, was trivial and so would the remedy be, just as soon as I was taken seriously by the Primary Care Professionals. I did not think it was myeloma level of serious, so why would they?

I feel silly for wearing that sling. I feel silly for telling Tom, Dick or Harry why I was wearing that sling. We know now that I was wrong. Hideously mistaken. Try eating a meal in a restaurant, whilst wearing a sling. It’s not ladylike. Let’s face it, I looked like a twerp. At the time, I felt like a fraud, but now, with the wonder that is hindsight, I know that that sling, ‘borrowed’ from a first aid box on the 7s, did absolutely nothing and that makes me cringe with embarrassment. The sling did not make anything better. It did not make the pain go away. The reason I could not open those fire doors, was not because of something I had done to my shoulder and the pain was not going to go away with nurofen as advised by the nice locum doctor**. Two courses of treatment, involving a fair amount of poison and twice daily doses of morphine has not made the pain go away completely. A bloody sling?! What was I thinking?

I imagine that until the 14 August, I will be reminiscing just that little bit more. It cannot be helped, though, the transplant may numb it. Not only did the birthday last week make me reflect, but the British Broadcasting Cooperation’s sports department is currently offering daily coverage of an event in Wimbledon and that red button reminded me of an even bigger sporting event that took place in London, 2012. I was watching the current event on Monday and a week at the start of August last year came flooding back to me like it was yesterday. The memory was conflicted. I loved being able to watch a variety of sports all day long. That was a hoot. At the time, the sling had gone, but I was in more pain. Much more pain. I could barely move, on the one day I attempted to go into work, I was sent home because I was ill, apparently. The sending home, by the leader of leaders, made me cry. Before 17 August last year, I rarely did that, cry. Perhaps I should have realised then that there was something others would deem serious wrong, but alas, I did not. I was still waiting for the nurofen to kick in and they had confirmed I did not have lung cancer, so I thought everything was fine.

I do not know if my trip down memory lane is good for me or not. It is the mood I am in and I cannot block it out. If does make me wonder whether I have actually got anywhere since then and since my diagnosis. So much has changed, but medically, I do not feel like I have travelled very far and at least a year ago, I was ignorant to it.

Not knowing, was so much easier, albeit, much more painful.


* She was not nice.

** She really was not nice.