Note: Jugular port not pictured- thank goodness., The last time I did that, I had to apologize to my surgeons, the port maker, my grandmother, the FDA, the AMA, the IMF, the Vampires Union, the CDC, and on.
2. Trying to explain to my nosey neighbor that Myeloma is a 'monoclonal' disease and hearing him say: ‘Thank God! You just have a bad case of Mono! Don’t worry, Murray, you’ll have your 2 acre back yard up to community standards in no time!’ Fat chance. I'll be sipping my Port, instead. On non-Velcade days, of course.
4. The time when I went in for a two-hour, full-body MRI and the Taiwan-born MRI imaging tech asked me to remove my silver ‘Made in China’ pendant that I picked up during my last visit to The People’s Republic. Curious, I asked how she knew my ‘Double Happiness’ character jewelry piece (I’ve always loved that saying!) was made in China. She told me: ‘Because the boy necklace say ‘Made in China.’ $2.89 doesn’t buy what it used to.
5. Discovering that the highly toxic chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin, known as the Red Devil, doesn’t taste like cherry Kool Aid. Don’t ask. But I did end up thinking that that big Kool Aid Pitcher Freak was trying to break down my front door.
6. Trying to use the ‘Smiley Face Pain Rating System’ when describing my myeloma-caused vertebral pain that lies somewhere between the discomfort of a slow, over-stuffed, buffet-bound Wildebeest, stumbling through a pride of ravenous Lions and that of a red-hot fondue skewer being indiscriminately pressed into my exposed spinal cord. ‘So about a 3?’ the ER nurse says.
7. Many of my brilliant Myeloma medical professionals are from countries outside the U.S. I love, respect and am grateful for every one of them. I wouldn’t still be here without them. Although speaking in their mother tongue, pointing at me and giggling, does put me on edge.
8. When I last picked up my Oxcycodone my Pharmacist said ‘Here you go – Oxymoron!’ Still trying to figure out if it was an honest mistake or whether Wal-Mart is hiring stand-up comedians.
9. Finding out that the Bernie Madoff Marrow and Myel-High Club for Men was a scam. And to think that I had my card punched for every one of my previous bone marrow and bone biopsies. My next one was supposed to be free. Madoff told me that he wasn’t just the President, he had bone marrow ripped from his hip bones just like the rest of us. It may still happen.
10. My simpleton friend panicked and said that he would take care of telling all of my other friends that I was diagnosed with Melanoma - a cancer of the melon. ‘No, it’s Myeloma – a cancer of the blood’ I shared. ‘Blood! Did you know that there are more than 10 miles of blood in the human body?’ he said. ‘No, there are more than 10 pints of blood in the average adult body. And there are more than 316 million feet of blood vessels. That’s 4 times around the equator! ’ ‘You have cancer in your equator and your feet, should you be sitting? ‘No, I have cancer in my… never mind. I feel fine.’ We’ve set up an appointment to have my friend’s melon checked.
S’Myelomas (wink! wink!) from Myelomaville! Drop me a line to let me know how you’re doing!