I started writing this blog to share information in one concise place with friends & family who were tracking my journey, post-cancer diagnosis. Initially it was much more logistically focused (when was my next round of treatment?), with some science thrown in (what exactly is a stem cell transplant?)
But over time, it become a forum for me to share my thoughts, sometimes the darkest thoughts I had. I use this blog as my own therapeutic outlet, when I need to exorcise my feelings to be able to move on. Let’s be clear – it is almost always selfish, about freeing myself from my demons.
But over time, I realized that I wasn’t alone. That I wasn’t the only one feeling these things – and that made it much easier for me. Through my blog and its Facebook page, I will often receive messages from people who themselves have myeloma or have a loved one who does. I have shared emails, phone calls and messages with many folks like this and honestly it helps me so much (and hopefully them as well).
One such message came from a woman JUST like me: Taylor, a 43-year-old mom living in Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters, ages 13 and 15. She shared her fears with me – the many “whys” she struggled with, the tears she shed every day and the fears she and her family had coming to grips with her diagnosis. She shared that she would wake up every day thinking it was a bad dream.
Her doctors told her that her myeloma was aggressive. At diagnosis, she had multiple tumors, was receiving bi-weekly chemo and radiation all in preparation for a stem cell transplant a few months after her diagnosis.
This woman read my blog and it seemed to have helped her…even if just a little. She asked me how I get myself out of dark places and if I had any advice. We chatted a little bit and then…life happened.
Fast forward to this week, when I received a message from her husband telling me that Taylor died just SIX months after her diagnosis. Reading this was a gut punch to me. Her husband said she was “the healthiest person they knew” and was searching for answers. WHY had this happened to HER?
And that was all I could think of when I read his message. Why her? Why not ME? Why I am lucky enough to still be with MY husband and MY kids for four years and counting?
I have no doubt that Taylor were very alike – that she was a great wife who loved her husband, an excellent mom who adored her kids and wanted to live more than anything else in the world. I am sure she found the best doctors she could, advocated for herself and stayed positive. She wanted to live, I have no doubt.
There is no way to understand why cancer strikes ANY of us. Why some have an easier time than others, why some respond better to treatment and its side effects, why some live and some die. There is no formula, no one-size-fits-all approach that works for all of us in the same way.
This is why I fight. This is literally a matter of life or death for me. This is why I work as hard as I do to help try and find innovative treatment options, help fund more research, help find CURES so that other children don’t have to live a life without a parent. So MY kids don’t have to imagine a life without their mom.
I am sure you are all tired of my fundraising. I am starting to get tired of myself! But I beg you to consider sticking with me for a few more weeks. The finish line is within our sights and, with your help, I am so close to making a big difference.
Please do it for me. Please do it for Taylor. Please do it for every cancer patient out there who needs our help NOW.
To help me reach my goal, please click here and make a donation of ANY amount. Every dollar counts!