Friday, September 28, 2012

Slap Down

The cancer can live in my body  as long as it wants, provided it's a quiet tenant.  And when it gets out of hand,  
we slap it down.
Jill Cohen

Today, when I opened up the Fall 2012 issue of Cure magazine, the first thing I saw was this quote.  It was highlighted in an article entitled "The Estrogen Effect."  Jill Cohen learned she had metastatic breast cancer in 2002 but she has long outlived the statistical odds.

As a multiple myeloma survivor, this quote really spoke to me. I know that even though I am in remission, myeloma is always lurking in the background.  Yesterday, I saw my oncologist and got my latest blood work results.  My WBC had come up to 3900 from 3100 and my RBC was up a bit, although, still below normal.  Platelets and neutrophils were both in the normal range.  While my kappa and lambda light chains were in the normal range, my lambda chain has been trending upward  for several months.  I don't like that.  Will it exceed the normal range in a month when I am checked again? Will it be in two months? Will it be next year? One can never know.  This is quite worrisome to me but my doctor keeps me under close surveillance and if the evil myeloma cells start misbehaving, they won't get very far in their deadly work before they are discovered. Then it will be time for a slap down!  Thank God for the many advances in treatments for multiple myeloma.

Even though my lambda chain isn't behaving the way I want it to, I have had several months of feeling well and enjoying life again and I plan on continuing. I have started yoga and I am volunteering at the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership.  It feels good to be back navigating the real world instead of the medical world.

Aislinn Striking a Pose Again
What a lovely bundle of paws she has.  She is quite the beautiful lady.



  1. Do you take curcumin at all? What does your doctor think about it? Just curious... my relative with MM will not take anything not prescribed by the docs. And they are all about chemicals. Plus the relative does not eat really good quality foods consistently. But who really knows what works? Just wondering out loud.

    1. No, I don't take curcumin and I haven't asked my doctor about it, but I think I should talk to him and find out what he thinks.

  2. dear carole,

    i loved that quote and fully intend on using it, speaking it to my breast cancer and to hugh's MM.

    i wish you didn't have to have that lousy niggling worry - though it comes with the territory, i think you are doing a marvelous job of keeping it at bay, focusing on the prize - in-the-moment-life-well-lived. i shall follow your lead during these days of post cancer treatment (except for herceptin every 3 weeks, which makes me feel lots safer AND i get to stay connected with most of my care team). i am learning that achieving remission does not always feel as great as i thought it would. the past nine months were such a whirlwind of running from medical pillars to posts - for both of us - who had the time or desire to parse and absorb the reality of it all?! but i am slowly finding my way to what i solemnly swore i would do - run with wild abandon into life reinvented.

    hugh and i just returned from our 1st vacation in over 3 years! we did it! and it was wonderful! and we are doing it AGAIN in two weeks! and i have found a way to give back by getting involved in breast cancer activism -very enlightening with many opportunities to learn and participate in research to find answers. it makes me wonder why we have been satisfied to see such devastating diseases like breast cancer - and, yes, multiple myeloma - be elevated (?) to "chronic" status.

    sandy speaks of "chemicals"; she is spot on. for many diseases, it seems there's always a plethora of new treatment meds to keep us going. and though we both want to live, we pay a heavy price to be treated with so many toxic meds, side effects, then more meds to counteract those side effects. big pharma is happy, happy with that status quo, but what if the billions of dollars that are poured into novel drugs was spent on focused and expert research efforts to find answers to WHY people get MM and breast cancer? oh, dear - i fear i've hopped onto my soap box now. i'm just saying...

    meanwhile, i am thrilled for you for starting yoga and your volunteer work. a combination of healing from within along with getting outside of ourselves to help others heal is so thereputic and meaningful.

    i am happy you are finding that the "real world" is welcoming you back, grateful for all your talents and excellent perspective gained during your journey through myelomaville.

    and oh, that darling aislinn - wish i could reach right through the computer screen, pick her up, and have a sweet cuddle.

    warm hugs,

    karen (aka The Commentor)

    1. Dear Karen,
      It is always so uplifting to read your comments and I thank you for responding. I am replying on my I Phone from Italy!! I won't be able to write much because it is too hard. Bavaria is next and then Mallorca. A few weeks of magical thinking . .....and doing.
      Carole Leigh