Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Went in for Sciatic Nerve Pain, Came Out with Multiple Myeloma

Wow, where to start? Well, I can say I moped and cried for a week. After that f**k it. Must be my Brooklyn upbringing. I believe getting diagnosed with multiple myeloma is harder on the family and friends around you because they are helpless to do anything except comfort.

How long do I have, Doc?

The first time I saw my oncologist, I asked her, “so how long do I have to live?” Her answer was, “we really don’t know but we have great treatments available”. I told her I’m 66 and still have my parents, I can’t die before them because “no parent should bury a child”. Therefore I told the doctor “If you can’t tell me anything, I could leave your office today and get hit by a truck and die, or have a house fall on my head”. Yeah, I’m a sarcastic sob LOL 🙂 So, I’m going to do whatever the heck I want to for the rest of my life.

I went through radiation for 25 straight days and that really was nothing. It took longer to drive back and forth than it did to receive the treatment. Chemo also for the first 3 months. I had horrible images about it from the old days when they treated people, but it really was no problem at all for me. My team is the best, most compassionate group of doctors and nurses, and that made it easier.

Family, friends, and a bucket list

After 3 months, they gave me a break and sent me to the City of Hope in Los Angeles for an SCT. Oh sh*t was that hell. But here I am 1.5 years later surrounded by the best family and friend a person could have, especially my wife of 37 years who is my guardian angel.

I am on maintenance meds Revlimid (f**king way too expensive, it’s a crime). The cancer is like a bad dream now but the bone pain it caused is an everyday hardship. Some days a wheelchair, some days a crutch. My son got me to ride on a Zamboni during a pro hockey game (was on my bucket list). What a thrill. I have 8 grandkids that I love and they love me. My life is good.

Living my life

To close my mantra is this: I have had clean drinking water for my entire life. I have had access to good medical care for my whole life. I have never gone to bed hungry. I have always had a roof over my head. I have had it better than 99.9% of all the people that have ever lived on this planet. So, no feeling sorry for this guy!

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

Comments

  • Robert
    2 months ago

    I was told by a doctor at the VA that good old Agent Orange, gift that continues giving until you die, had presented me with a rare form of blood/bone marrow cancer. Of course, I asked the prognoses and the doctor told me that “statically” the diagnosis meant 29 – 48 months. Next question was “What would you do if you were me?” Doctor’s response was “Go do what you want to with the rest of your life.”

    This was all near the end of a semester. When my schedule for the next semester was emailed to me, I called the school and told them to find another professor because I wasn’t coming back. Told my wife of 26 years that I was going hunting. She knew I like to hunt and figured a few months out of the year to snipe and deer hunt was not too bad. She did not understand feral hogs!

    I hunt around nine months out of the year. Have a mobile home in southeast Georgia and only come to south Florida when Veterans’ Affairs requires me to be patient. Have PCP in both the Miami VA and Hinesville, GA.

    How much time do I have left? Only God knows my expiration date and I have been hunting about full-time for 14 years now. Stupidly got married in the middle of deer season but made a deal that I only go home on those anniversaries ending in a 0 or 5. Next deer season, unless I can convince her to come to Georgia, I must go home for our 40th.

  • Crystal Harper moderator
    2 months ago

    I just love your positive attitude! You’re so right- anything can happen to us whether we have cancer or not. We should all be striving to live life to the fullest. You’re awesome and I hope you keep on knocking out all those bucket list items! What’s next on your list?

  • Jim Smith moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi @bklynite1953. I like your mantra. We often take for granted what we have in this country. Still, having cancer is the pits. Your attitude is inspiring; it kinda makes us reconsider our pity parties.

  • bklynite1953 author
    2 months ago

    Hi Jim thanks for the reach out. yeah cancer is the pits but there are so many things that could be worse and many people are going through them right now. Maybe I am lucky that I am not as sick as a lot of other people. I guess it would have been nice not to get cancer and maybe be rich, but you know my life is full of richness with the family and friends around me. T o have grown up in brooklynin the late 50’s and 60’s with everything NY had to offer was the best childhood in the world. And then in my 20’s to move to San Diego and start a new life with a new wife that I have grown older and wiser with along with 4 kids, 8 grandkids along the way, all healthy, I have been fortunate. I just lost my dad this year but he was 90 and lived a long and healthy life my mom is still around at 87 and we are having her move from Florida to live with us in california. with dad gone and all her friend dying , we want to give her some quality of life ( she is an amputee confined to a wheelchair).
    for me this is just a huge honor to take care of her not for the rest of her life. after all she was there for me my whole life. its what family does and should do.
    well too much rambling and a little too much tooting my horn at the end but I am proud of being a good son.

  • Jim Smith moderator
    2 months ago

    As you should be. She is fortunate to have such a son.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    2 months ago

    My fellow Brooklynite- What Up!! 🙂
    Continue doing you while adding this anchor on your other shoulder. Based on your energy and fight… you got this! Best!

  • bklynite1953 author
    2 months ago

    thank Yolanda. Im not sure of what each day will bring but when I hear about a 2 year old with a blood cancer I cry. I see the commercials for st. judes childrens hospital and know these are the heroes and really courageous humans. they are my inspiration. I am glad this site found me and I hope I can contribute to this group

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    2 months ago

    Welcome, @bklynite1953 so happy you found this site as well. We have a great group of people who can relate to various situations. Yes, I agree those St Jude commercials are a tear-jerker; you know we just don’t know what the days will bring us, which is why living your life like it’s golden “Today” is a must. You are courageous as well as you take this new step and a new journey. Best!

  • bklynite1953 author
    2 months ago

    hi Daniel we are a privileged bunch of people, we are LOL. thanks for the nice words. glad you are still around also. its an everyday fight physically and mentally but im brooklyn tough eventhough i live in socal now. I know you cant beat MM yet but i give it a good kick in the ass every day

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    2 months ago

    @bklynite1953 I hear you, I went in for a bleeding ulcer and came out with chemo for lymphoma. It only took a short four months of being in the hospital! How awesome. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

  • Poll