This week, 9 years ago, I received the news that no one ever wants to hear, "you have cancer". How well I remember those words. I also remember looking straight at Dr. Hinton and saying "you don't understand, I have a 2 year old and a 7 month old with a trach" as if he was in the wrong room. He told me that it was nothing I did or didn't do, that it was just my bad luck. He also told me that there was alot of "hope in my situation" because of all the research going on with multiple myeloma. I was told they could treat it but there was no cure. I wondered if I would see my Annie get off oxygen and get rid of her trach, if I would see my girls start to school, if I would see my next birthday. When they told me they wanted to start treatment right away so that I could feel good by Christmas, I was confused - how would I ever feel good with cancer?
That Christmas morning, Barry and I read an article in the Tuscaloosa News about research in multiple myeloma. A physician stated that he thought there would be a cure for blood cancers in his lifetime. What a Christmas morning blessing!
Today, I am thankful for advances in myeloma research - it was a new drug that eventually got me to transplant in 2005. I am thankful that I was able to feel good at times through the treatment process. I am thankful that I got to see my girls start to school and now Elle's in middle school! I am thankful to see Annie get rid of the oxygen and trach and have no other respiratory problems since then! I am thankful for Barry's vow of "in sickness and in health"! I am thankful that I was told in 2011 "you could be in a very small percentage of patients with multiple myeloma who had an autologous (gave my own bone marrow) transplant who is cured"!!
I am thankful that every 6 months when I see Dr. Hinton he tells me that I am "amazing"! I know one thing for sure - I am amazed by the grace of God, the love of family and friends - all of which has allowed me a completely different outlook on the future than I had on this day in 2003.
Christmas 2003 might have been the best Christmas ever - because we appreciated it more! Don't let it take some kind of bad news like I got, to appreciate the reason for the season and to celebrate it to the fullest!