Diagnosis: Multiple Myeloma

You never expect to hear the words no matter how old you are. You go to the doctor believing you have a minor illness. You believe with every ounce of your body, heart, and soul that you will get a prescription for medication, and then you will feel better. You walk into the doctor’s office expecting the doctor to go over the lab and other test results, write a prescription, and send you on your merry way. The doctor walks into the office, shakes your hand, asks how you are, takes a seat, and begins to go over the results.
You smile as she tells you your MRIs were normal. She tells you the other testing was normal. Then she tells you that most of your lab work was normal. She hesitates, looks at you, clears her throat, then says, “Your M-Protein test came back highly elevated, so I repeated the test to be sure. We did a 24-hour urine test to double check. They came back highly elevated with M-Protein. This test indicates you have Multiple Myeloma, and I am referring you to a Hematologist/Oncologist.” You sit starring at the doctor like a statue. Your mind will not accept what you have just heard. You ask her what she means. She explains about M-Protein, and tells you how it affects the plasma in the bone marrow. She proceeds to tell you she does not know if the specialist will do more testing, but she probably will do a bone marrow biopsy, and she will most likely do some other testing. She tells you that the specialist will decide when she sees the reports.
The doctor shakes your hand, hands you the check out paper and wishes you good luck as she moves on to the next patient. You gather your things, forgetting your sweater, and head for the checkout counter. The girl behind the counter goes over the doctor’s orders and tells you someone will be calling you. The nurse catches you as you are walking out and hands you your sweater. You are moving in a dream world. You proceed to your car, get in, start the engine, and drive home on automatic. Neither you nor your husband says a word. Your mind is still processing what just happened.
You go into the house. You are still moving on automatic. You go through your normal motions and perform your usual task as though nothing has happened. You feel the tears just below the surface, but you know you have to be strong. You force the tears down, put on a smile, and call your children. When your voice breaks, you tell them you just need a drink. You tell your adult children you are fine and the diagnosis does not bother you, but you want to scream, yell, throw things, and tell them you are hurting; you are scared. Once your children know, you lay the phone down, and you begin to process the news. You check the internet reading everything you can find on diagnosis, testing, treating, survival rate, and what Multiple Myeloma is. When you can’t find all the answers, you email your primary doctor and ask for clarification. You wait what seems like an eternity.
The primary doctor confirms your deepest fear; the definitive diagnosis is elevated M Protein in the 24-hour urine test and a bone marrow biopsy. You read more information and wonder when the specialist will call for the first appointment. You wait.
I was told on Monday April 7, 2014. Today is Saturday April 12, 2014 and still no call from the specialist. The waiting seems to engulf me. I move through my day expecting the phone to ring, prepared to take the next step. I keep my smile on my face. I laugh. I try to forget, but the nagging words—Multiple Myeloma—rings in my head. Today is the first time I have been alone since receiving the diagnosis. The silence is deafening. Today I fight the tears. Tomorrow I may have tears, but I also may not. Each day is a dream. Each day is just another day to wait.
I have one truth that helps me to hold my wits, my faith, my hope, my soul together. That one truth is that God is with me. He holds me every day. He gives me strength to continue with my smile. He is why I will continue to smile and believe that no matter what happens, my life will go exactly the way God intends. If the diagnosis stands, I will lean on him through the good and the bad days. I believe God can heal me or make the treatments and the cancer easier to handle. I will not let this diagnosis defeat me. I will live in the knowledge that no matter what happens, I am in God’s hands, and he knows all my tomorrows. I will remain strong in God.


About Elaine Rhoades

I am a 69 year old grandmother, mother, wife who earned a BS in Psychology with a 3.97 GPA at the ripe old age of 62. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Phoenix July 2012. I have begun my own business of editing for authors and writing a novel, which is currently in editing stage. If you are interested in obtaining editing services please contact me at rhoadesediting@att.net. List of editing projects: A Forever Family Series - children's books - Author Sal Edwards. UoP essays and class papers for my class teams. 40 + years as Administrative Assistant in which I edited textbooks, sales flyers, newsletters, catalogues, letters, and other office projects. Writing Projects: Novel: "I'll Cry No Tears". Short Stories: Various - not ready for publishing Poetry: One published poem 1963 Various stories for friends and family Office Newsletters: Editor of "Southside OBGYN Office News"
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2 Responses to Diagnosis: Multiple Myeloma

  1. Patsy says:

    Chin up and keep that beautiful smile on your face. All things are possible for those who love the Lord.

    • Cancer is no reason for me to lose my resolve to be positive and live the happiest life I can. This is just another bump in life’s road that needs to be faced and moved past. I will continue to smile, laugh,and enjoy my life. Besides this is just a little uppercase small font “C” not a big devastating “C”. In addition, if this turns out to be life threatening, I’ve seen Heaven and I know that is where I will spend a pain free eternity.

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