Article by Wendy McCance
I had my follow-up appointment today at the oncologist. The results were good. No lesions found from my MRI and no fractures in my bones found on the full body X-ray. My blood test looked good as well except for my protein levels. The numbers have gone up so instead of seeing my doctor again in 3 months, my doctor wants to see me back in 2 months.
I know it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it caught me off guard. 2 months is just a month too soon. It means one less month that I can forget about having multiple myeloma.
As my doctor was discussing the results, he threw out a number (the first time he has ever done so). He said that when you are diagnosed with smoldering multiple myeloma, the average amount of time before it progresses to stage 1 is 16 months. Of course I immediately began doing the math. Diagnosed in April, (although found the signs of the cancer in February in a blood test) so I have until August unless you go by when the protein levels were first found and then I would be statistically at stage 1 by June. As the conversation went on, my oncologist mentioned that he does have some patients who have stayed stable in a smoldering state for years so who knows, maybe that will be me case as well.
I came out of my appointment in such a strange state. I was relieved that I was currently okay and uncomfortable hearing a time frame. It took a while to wrap my head around the conversation and decide how I wanted to really feel about the news. Happiness won out as I was ultimately most relieved to have a couple of months free of worry. It did make me feel like celebrating. It also made me feel motivated to make the time before me count.
In September, my husband began a new job and the kids were heading back to school. A lot was going on at home and it was decided that maybe I would cut back on work for awhile. I held on to a couple of wonderful clients I just couldn’t part with and resisted taking on any new people. It was a good decision at the time as I wanted to focus on family and make sure everyone was getting the attention from me they needed.
2 months later and the family is in a nice groove. The kids are doing great with their school, work, activities and social life. My husband loves his job and although he works long hours, time flies for him because he enjoys what he is doing. My days started to become rather dull. The house was always neat and clean, the errands were always taken care of, kids were transported to appointments and activities and there was a nice homemade meal waiting for everyone at the end of the day. It was great at first,but once everyone found their own way, I became bored.
Right around this time, I was contacted by an old client that had some work for me if I was interested. I liked the client and was interested in the project, so I took the opportunity. Slowly, other potential business has popped up and I am considering taking on more. I haven’t prospected for work in at least 6 months, but I am thinking about accepting a few more clients if they happen to fall in my lap and are a good fit. I might also try to do some writing for publications. I don’t know what I’ll end up doing for sure, but I’m excited to explore some possibilities.
When I was given a statistical time frame by my doctor, it occurred to me that there was a lot I want to do in my life so I better get moving. I pictured how disappointed I would be if I didn’t have a chance to complete some of my big goals. You know those goals that seem like a pipe dream and yet you jump in and chase them anyways? Well, I have money goals and writer goals and being my own boss goals and so on, so I refuse to look forward and worry (if I can help it) and I don’t need to look back. Nope, I’ll stay in the present and knock out each big goal until I am physically unable to do any more (although I’ll probably still try).
It was a good appointment today. No, actually it was great because it gave me a change in perspective. It got me to refocus and get back to the business of living the way I want to live the most.
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