One year ago yesterday (a Friday), I received a call during lunch, telling me I needed to be at Tanner ER right now. I’d recently had an MRI in a new machine, in which the decision had been made that when using the dye/contrast, to test all patients, not just high risk ones. I wasn’t a high risk one. The results were that my kidneys were in bad shape. I wound up being admitted for 3 days, getting 3 bags of blood, getting introduced to a lot of nurses, technicians and doctors as they took X-rays, drew blood, ran all kinds of tests and I had the joy of getting my first colonoscopy. I wasn’t losing blood, my marrow was overrun with Myeloma and couldn’t produce it right, but I hadn’t realized any of this. My legs, hips and back hurt and my ribs were popping out of place.
Saturday morning, Kelly had gone home to get clothes and try and rest a little while Jordan entertained (waited on) me. I was wanting to go home, as this hospital stay was getting in the way of my plans. Finally, after what was not my first, “Can’t I go home?”, I was told I had some kind of cancer. That’s a life changing statement. Even through the haze of a sedation, I heard that distinctly. No “What was that?”, no “Excuse me, I don’t think I heard you right….”, it was crystal clear.
The hospital stay that was in the way of plans was suddenly where I needed to be. No longer an obstacle but now a chance at recovery or treatment or living. Cancer. It takes so many. Now I was in its sights. At least I was where I’d get help, where I’d get answers.
Later, I would learn the name “Multiple Myeloma.” I would physically suffer and need a walker to get around for awhile, then a cane and finally my own legs again. The chemo from Jan- Apr wasn’t too bad, with really no side effects. Prayers were lifted and answered. The stem cell transplant took place. Prayers continued to be lifted and answered. Most of May, I was at Emory and a hotel nearby Emory. That chemo treatment felt like it knocked the life out of me. The roughest days, I really don’t remember much, was another blessing.
Through it all, it could have been worse. I’m alive. I was younger than most fighting Multiple Myeloma. I never broke any major bones, didn’t have other health issues to complicate my treatments. I didn’t suffer a lot of nausea during chemo. It could have been a long year of recovery but it seems to have passed quickly. I can see God’s hand all along the way when looking for them.
My labs continue to be good. White cells are still right at the lower end of the range they should be at, but not a problem. The last bone biopsy shows no myeloma through conventional tests, but the DNA of myeloma is still present when a more specific test is ran. The measure they use, is .07gm/DL which continues to fall. For reference, if my math and Google is correct, 1 deciliter is just over 3 ounces. So, only 0.07 of a gram is found in 3 ounces and there are 85 grams in a ounce. 85 x 3= 255 & .07 of 255 is 17.8 ounces. I think… Math and good looks are not my strongest assets.
In seeing His hands at work, I wasn’t necessarily always looking for them, but they were there. At other times I begged to see them or feel them. His hands, like the hospital, was where I needed to be. I couldn’t self-help my way out of this or wait till it got better.
You may feel like God is in your way of living how you want to life. If He’s in your way, it’s you that’s headed in the wrong direction. He is where you need to be.