Thursday, February 23, 2012

Coping With Survivorship

12/15/11 cont.
This period of “Survivorship” is not something I was expecting, in fact, I didn't know it existed. After the last two years of battling multiple myeloma and finally finishing treatment for now, I found myself feeling completely at loose ends and somewhat depressed.   I haven’t had much mental energy or real interest in doing anything. I would have thought I would be jumping for joy!  However, that was not the case.  This led me to begin seeing a counselor at the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership and she has helped me make sense of my thoughts and feelings.  Some of my thoughts have included:  What now?  How did this happen? What’s next? Can I manage without weekly clinic visits?  Are they watching me closely enough?

When a patient has been through a long battle with cancer, it is hard to know how to feel when one gets to the point where treatment is no longer needed and is replaced with close monitoring, “surveillance” as my oncologist calls it. Right now, I am seeing my oncologist once a month and I am having zometa infusions each time I see him.  One thing I do know, is that multiple myeloma comes back, unlike some cancers. It could be next week, next month, next year or even several years from now.

 Recently, I have been reliving the stages of my stem cell transplant since it has been a year since it all happened. It is difficult to look back on those experiences and it makes me quite emotional as I sometimes find myself feeling pretty tearful. I am not sure why. I guess it is just hard to think about what has happened.  I am NOT feeling sorry for myself  and I have never thought, “Why me?”  Instead, I have always had the thought, “Why not me?”  because no one is immune from this disease. 


  1. Great to find your blog, Carole. I saw your comment on Wendy's World. She's a friend - someone I didn't know before I had MM, but this journey takes us in all sorts of new directions, doesn't it?

    Wendy and I have the same type of myeloma and were diagnosed within a month or so of each other and we have some mutual friends. Small world, eh?

    I've signed up for updates on your blog and will catch up a bit when I have time. But great to find you. If you want to read my blog too, it's

    Great that you're in remission. Keep surviving!
    Jet x

  2. I am very happy you found my blog, Jet. I have now found yours and have signed up to follow it. You are a wonderful writer and your blog is so informative. We myeloma patients need each other I feel.

    Did you know that your Hickman line was invented by Dr. Hickman who was a doctor at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where I had my transplant? He has retired, but his protege is the doctor who placed my Hickman line. As much as I hated that line hanging out of my chest, it is a marvelous invention.

    Thank you for following my blog.
    Best regards,
    Carole Leigh