One year ago...

... I was flat on my back in a hospital bed.

All anyone knew is that I couldn't walk, and had "something strange" on my MRI of my back.

It would take several more days before I was diagnosed with Multiple Myloma (IGD).

During that time, I had to have help doing even the most basic of all functions. Modesty and pride go out with the hospital gown.

I was fitted with a back brace, that kept me together for about six months. I was so glad to progress away from that.

Since then I have had three rounds of radiation, several different chemo therapies, and the big whopper, the massive chemo with stem cell regeneration of my bone marrow that happened at the City of Hope.

Lasting effects? Yea, a few.
  • After a year of various forms of sitting on my ass, I have little momentum.
  • I am up to 271 pounds, the heaviest I have ever been ( in April I was below 220, and had to use a belt to keep my pants up).
  • I have some memory lapses -- also known as chemo brain.
  • My fine motor skills are very shaky.
  • My legs swell up in the evening, so when I take off my socks for the night it looks rather shocking.
  • I have tattoos, but they are the remains of the radiation treatment.
  • I seem to have difficulty hearing things.
  • I smell smoke, a nice BBQ kind of smoke (the doctors are puzzled by this one).
  • My back is stiff (see the second item), and twitches when I stand still or lay down for the night.
  • I have a scar on my chest where the Hickman catheter was inserted in my chest and neck for 6 or so weeks.
  • I take chemo pills every night, and will have to for the rest of my life. A 28 day supply costs Kaiser $5200.
Perks? Some important ones.
  • Family and friends. Without them I would be long gone. Each well wish and prayer counted.
  • I can park in the blue spots (at least until June).
  • New perspectives, new attitudes.
  • I can pick up the girls again.
  • My wife.
All in all, it has been an emotional 365 days.

Looking forward to another few thousand days ahead.

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