person doing a cannonball off waterfall with mountains in the backround

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…

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.


View Comments (4)
  • Carole McCue
    4 months ago

    Hi Matt,
    You are so right. After my cancer diagnosis, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, I vowed never to miss an opportunity to spend time with my granddaughter. Someone once told me that, “You only regret the things that you don’t do”. So very true. I hope you stay well as our blood cancers are becoming chronic and I pray for a cure. God bless you.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    4 months ago

    Great piece Matt,
    I feel when we’re faced with this adversity, that’s an indication that maybe we need to delve in further on our true purpose. As for myself, my diagnosis has allowed me to think of another career that I love while being mindful of embracing a healthy lifestyle. If I want to do something now is the time to do it, as tomorrow is not promised, and at times I think we all need a little reminding of that. We must remember to live the very best of ourselves with little to no regrets.

  • Matt Goldman moderator author
    4 months ago

    Thanks Yolanda. I agree we all do need a little reminder. I know I do and your comment has helped me on that path.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    4 months ago

    Wonderful Matt!

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