Since this diagnosis, my perspective has changed - on just about everything. Things that would have annoyed the hell out of me before, now just seem to be something else in my day that will pass.
I got a little down when this was all heaped on me:
- Getting the call from my family doctor on a Sunday afternoon telling me I'm full of cancer.
- Driving myself to the University of MN Hospital Emergency Room where there's an oncologist waiting to check me in.
- Nancy wasn't home to hear the news, so I'd need to call her on the way.
- Penning the dogs in the kitchen while looking around wondering if I'm going to see any of this again...
It wasn't as bad as all that. But I did have crushed vertebrae in my back and it was caused by multiple myeloma -- and all of that felt like a pretty big deal as I sat there in the hospital by myself mildly freaking out wondering how this all was going to go down.
But since then? Like I said, there's a new attitude.
One week into chemo treatments, I catch the flu, and end up in the hospital for three days -- with chemo pushed back two weeks. No big deal.
A few weeks later, they suggest I get a broken bridge in my mouth taken care of so I can get a dose of Zometa to strengthen my bones. You can't have any hint of infection in your mouth or you could run the risk of losing bone in your jaw. The extraction CAUSED an infection. A toothache and a two (going on three) week delay on the Zometa. No big deal.
I was also told at the beginning of this, that I have Atrial Fibrillation. Great! Never had it before, seems odd that I wouldn't know that, what with my religiously annual physicals and refereeing six to nine days a week. But it's no big deal, right?
I go in to get an MRI and wired up for a week-long home heart monitor test. Laugh out loud when the nurse says the MRI should take about half an hour. The more realistic MRI tech says "No. It's about 90 minutes or so." No big deal.
I choose the Trip Hop station on Pandora and hang out awhile. It took two hours. No big deal.
Then I'm off to the next room for the electronics for the heart monitor. They shave my upper chest, glue on the little electronic monitor, turn it on, and it glows red. Faulty. No big deal. They unglue it - it hardly hurt at all. Then they glue on another one that works and I'm out the door. No big deal.
Oh, I almost forgot - because it's no big deal. On Friday I'm waiting for my chemo shot at the hospital. I always get blood tests first to make sure I'm in a good blood place to get the chemo. I'm waiting awhile because there's some delay in test returns. The machines are down, and the blood has to be sent over to the other hospital to get the results. No big deal.
Then I'm told that the "chemo kitchen" is also down so they can't make my dose yet. No big deal. Delayed about another hour. No big deal. I just went to the fridge and grabbed an eight ounce can of Shasta Diet Soda, a pack of Lorna Doones and Oreos and enjoyed a nice lunch.
Nothing seems to bother me now. I'm good. Shit happens and I just let it. Life is simpler that way. I wish I'd known that earlier in life.
The only things that matter are Nancy, kicking this cancer, and getting my back back.
The rest is just noise.