From Cancer Coming A-Calling to Cancer Becoming a Calling

When cancer first came calling, I wasn’t quite sure how to react or respond. It took a few months, but now I am proud to say my cancer has become a calling. Personally, that reframing has proven to be a world of difference to me personally.

Going through the process of getting to my multiple myeloma diagnosis in March 2019, I was somewhat prepared for the final result. Test after test allowed my hematologist to start narrowing down possible root causes, but they all seemed to end in an ‘a,’ and were, to put a fine point on it, undesirable.

Finally, a bone marrow biopsy came back showing 90 percent of my bone marrow was cancerous. That was the point when my hematologist became my oncologist. That was also the day I became a cancer fighter.

Squaring off with cancer

In most everything I’ve undertaken in my life — professionally, musically, athletically, and academically — there’s always been a milestone-type of event — a project deadline, a performance, a game or race, or an exam. As a result, I was programmed to address challenges in an approach that led up to something definitive and final. I likened it as a training camp ahead of a boxing match.

Here’s the thing, though — It took me just two weeks into my cancer fight to realize that when fighting a chronic condition like multiple myeloma, there is no singular game day or fight night. Every day is game day; every night is fight night.

The fight continues on and on

Fighting multiple myeloma is a process, not an event. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Two weeks into my cancer fight, I was exhausted. It was mostly, I think, from the mental burden of carrying my cancer diagnosis. Try as I might, cancer was the first thing I thought about upon awakening and the last thing I thought about as I was falling asleep. Oh, I can also admit cancer went through my mind quite often during the day too!

It was then that I discovered that, for me, my whole person, my whole well-being, was the sum total of my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual being. Those factors play upon one another, and there’s a synergy to be found there. At the same time, when one falters, it can bring down the others.

But, at the same time, one or more can be used to lift the others!

Take physical conditioning, for example. When I work out, I feel strong, and when I feel strong physically, mentally I feel powerful and energized. That gives me strength to go to the grocery store to source nutritious foods and prepare healthy meals that, in turn, give me the energy to … you guessed it … work out.

And the cycle continues!

Cancer becomes a calling

Learning as I continue with my cancer fight, I wanted to share. I started going to a support group — my first group experience of any kind — the week after my diagnosis, and I learned so much there. My group helped me, and I wanted to help not only them, but others too, as many as I could.

So, I began fundraising, and I was fortunate enough to be the subject of a number of interviews, both for written articles and videos. In turn, people, mostly patients and their caregivers, started to reach out to me through my various social media accounts.

And, I have to tell you, it’s the honor of my life to connect with patients, caregivers, and their allies.

All; those interactions with fellow myeloma patients, patients with other conditions, and their caregivers has been a blessing to my soul. However, as I was working in a one-to-one model, I wondered what I could do to work in a one-to-many model.

As a writer, the solution was obvious. I would write a book.

Writing a memior

I’m proud to include my cancer-patient memoir, Me, Myself & My Multiple Myeloma, as part of my calling to help the cancer community. My intention was to produce a resource for patients, their caregivers, and their allies. And, to truly make it a book from the community, to the community, and for the community, it was important for me to pledge my net writer’s proceeds to benefit the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF).

Me, Myself & My Multiple Myeloma is published by Morgan James Publishing. The eBook was released on March 5, at the start of Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month, and paperbacks will be availableon July 16.

In the meantime, look for a giveaway here on!

Reinforcing a Growth Mindset

While I intended my story to be a resource to others, I must also share that the process of writing my story proved a valued resource to me. I was reminded of the early stages of my fight, of my stem cell transplant, and the emotional and mental toll the entire ordeal took on me. More importantly, I was reminded of all the wonderful, supportive allies I’m fortunate to have in my life, and the gratitude I have for each and every one of them.

I was also reminded of the gift of today. Not everybody received the gift of today. And, the best way I can honor them, honor myself, and honor the day, is to make the most of my gift, working to accomplish that which matters most and doing it with the ones I love the most.

What’s your story? How does sharing it impact you? I’d love to hear it!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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