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My “little secret?” I’m in pain

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My “little secret?” I’m in pain

Now, do these pictures look like a guy who has suffered both a mental and physical setback the past few weeks?

me and cindyThat’s my dear friend, Cindy Chmielewski, who kindly took the time to fly-down from New Jersey to speak to our Nature Coast Multiiple Myeloma Support Group last night.  The weather was stormy, but as always she was cheerful and informative.  Her presentation was a big hit!

UsAnd that’s fellow group member, Paula, kindly taken by our friendly bartender.  Paula joined us for a “girls night out” after the meeting.  Fun!

We shared stories and I asked the gals for some advice about a few things.  I did mention to Paula how I had forgotten my pain meds earlier in the evening; Tylenol and a beer would have to do.  I know, I know; alcohol is contraindicated if you’re taking acetaminophen.  Did you know that?

Back to the heavy stuff.  Sitting there with a pair of fellow myeloma survivors always inspires me.  Anyone battling our insidious cancer is a true hero!  But we all have secrets–pain or anguish we keep to ourselves–sometimes even when we are with those that would understand.

I didn’t want to dampen the mood.  We were having so much fun!  But masked by the excuse I had forgotten my pain meds is the worsening pain at the base of my neck; shooting, stinging pain.  Stiffness and being sore I can deal with–I do that all of the time, dealing with pain in my ribs and lower back.  But this is different.  And it’s getting worse.

Add to the physical discomfort the fact that I have been floundering a bit since my father’s death.  After pouring so much time and emotion into caring for someone, the hole that’s left behind when they’re gone can feel as big as the Grand Canyon.  I’m sure my stepmother is feeling that way.  And many of you caregivers must know exactly how I feel.

Try not to worry!  I know many of my regular readers probably will.   Now that my hip is replaced it looks like it’s time to focus on my neck.  But there was a lot of damage there–a lot.  My theory: My new hip has allowed me to be more active, aggravating my neck.

One thing is for certain, I can’t have everything surgically fixed.  I will explain why sometime down the road.

And the emptiness and emotional floundering I’m dealing with?  To be expected, right?  I am following-up and seeing an experienced, cancer therapist next month.  I chuckled when they scheduled me five weeks out after I had requested a psychological consult from my myeloma specialist at Moffitt Cancer Center.  Don’t you think you’d want to get me in to see someone right away?  Must have thought if I were stable enough to go through proper channels; what could it hurt? (I’m tempted to joke about canceling my appointment via cell phone as I’m plunging toward the water off one of those spectacular Tampa Bay area bridges, but that would be in poor taste!)

While comments are always welcome, could you hold the advice until I get you more information to work with.  It’s going to come to you in bits and drabs; there is a lot of other news to report.  Danny has a new column ready to to.  And I need to process some of this myself, first.

I’m writing today’s post early, so I still don’t have a link to last night’s Blog Talk Radio broadcast about allo stem cell transplants.  I will pass it along as soon as I can.

Again, please don’t worry about me!  I feel a public trust to share feelings and discomfort that many of you can’t or don’t.  For now let’s keep it our “little secret.”

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat