This CNN article gives us insight into how the outside world views multiple myeloma. Here is a short excerpt from the feature:
Randy’s story is that of many firefighters, police and first responders who thought they’d dodged a bullet and escaped the illnesses so many developed soon after 9/11. Until last summer, when the bullet hit.
“My kidneys shut down and when your kidneys shut down you know it,” he said. It wasn’t just kidney failure but a rare, and for Randy, very aggressive blood cancer known as multiple myeloma, which he and his wife are convinced came from exposure to toxins at Ground Zero.
The feature is instructive for several reasons. First, we all try to find a cause; a reason for why we got our cancer. It is human nature to look for someone to blame.
Secondly, note how the first responder, Randy, reacts. Maybe he is one of the “lucky” cancer patients because he does have something (the 9/11 attacks) and someone (the attackers) to blame. Most of us are left to wonder “why” and “why me?” with no hope of ever really knowing why we have cancer.
Of course, Randy’s multiple myeloma could just be a coincidence, right? The vast majority of multiple myeloma patients—including you and me—were not first responders at Ground Zero.
I found it interesting Randy chose to undergo a donor SCT. The article doesn’t go into much detail about his treatment choice. But why such a risky approach? Was this all part of a stereotypical “let’s beat this thing at all costs” approach toward tackling myeloma?
I’m glad Randy is doing well and is in remission. No mention of host/graph disease or other post transplant complications. We are left with many more questions than answers. I hate that! What do you think?
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat