Throwing Caution to the Wind
One of the challenges for a multiple myeloma patient (or any blood cancer for that matter) is the giant question mark that hangs over our head. For myeloma patients, we have an incurable cancer. Folks are working hard to find a cure. Some people say myeloma is becoming chronic disease. Absolutely the median survival rate is extending as newer and more effective treatments are brought on line. But it remains incurable.
Balancing responsibilities with living life
So as we live longer with our blood cancer, we must ensure we take care of our health, maintain our insurance, pay our bills, and keep healthy relationships. There are the obvious physical challenges that accompany a cancer diagnosis. But our cancer changes us emotionally and how we view our position in the world and our future. There is the new normal that we all talk about. And in the midst of the physical and emotional challenges, there is the desire to live life to the fullest. To check things off our bucket list. To throw caution to the wind. There are times that we just want to go crazy if you will. For some it means jumping out of a plane or quitting our job or exploring the world. For others it might mean speaking our mind or having that extra plate of nachos or singing our favorite song on karaoke. Throwing caution to the wind is different for everyone.
But my experience is that you want to not have regrets. You want to leave no stone unturned. I know I’m throwing out a bunch of clichés. But this is something I’ve been trying to wrap my head around lately. It seems like there are always doctors appointments or infusions or pills to take or labs to do. There are responsibilities. So it’s a challenge to balance these responsibilities with wanting to do whatever the heck we want. And then there are the times when we aren’t feeling well or our energy is low. I’m an all or nothing person, but I’m working on baby steps and gray areas and smaller victories. I need to prioritize the items on my list and do what I can do while also taking a nap when I need a nap.
How do you throw caution to the wind?
I’m curious how others see themselves throwing caution to the wind. What are folks doing that perhaps they wouldn’t have done before cancer? I will say this, it’s important to share our thoughts and experiences. The blood cancer community or for me the myeloma community is powerful and helpful and provides support. Another cliché: we are all in this together.
And to close out this all over the place post... As I write this, I’m visiting family in Lake Tahoe. It’s beautiful here. The mountains and trees are healing. We’re taking a hike in a little while to see a waterfall. I’m ready to tell my wife to throw out all our stuff, jump in the car with our dog and we’re moving here. And then on the other hand, I know there is a casino downstairs and I wonder if I should just cash in everything I own and put it on number 32 on the roulette. Obviously, I know that would be crazy and irresponsible. But...
What type of blood cancer are you or your loved one diagnosed with?