Birthdays and anniversaries help all of us mark the passing of time, and myeloma survivors are no exception. But those of us battling multiple myeloma have our own unique set of dates to remember: the day we were diagnosed, the day we achieved our first remission and for many of us our stem cell transplant “birthday.”
April 3rd, 2007, the day my chiropractor told me he believed I had “bone cancer.” April 18, 2007–two days after the infamous Virginia Tech shootings–the day my myeloma specialist at Mayo Clinic told me my life expectancy was a short 43 months. July 1st, 2011, the day my stem cells were infused back into my body–a key part of my autologous stem cell transplant.
The longer I live with multiple myeloma, the more myeloma related dates become part of my timeline. But that doesn’t mean I ignore more traditional holidays. On the contrary, I have written often how I now seek-out any excuse to celebrate!
Today is my 57th birthday. In myeloma terms, I was a relatively young 51 years old when I was first diagnosed. I honestly never expected to even live to see my 57th birthday–a reason to celebrate if there ever was one!
I have always been a goal oriented, competitive guy. So one of my first thoughts after I learned the median life expectancy of a newly diagnosed patient back in the spring of 2007 was a short 43 months: beat the averages and live until I was 55, 56 or even 57 years old.
Well, I MADE IT! 70 months and counting! Look out, 60, here I come!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat