Last October, just after my wife and I returned to St. George for what we thought would be a normal winter out of the cold, snow, and icy roads of northern Utah, we received an urgent call from her internist's nurse telling us we needed to see a nephrologist immediately. A routine blood test taken just before we left Salt Lake showed an abnormal level of protein and creatinine, among other markers. We made an appointment with a kidney specialist and a week later sat in his office as he looked at her lab numbers and told us that these numbers were consistent with a diagnosis of kidney failure and multiple myeloma. My wife's face fell in shock, and I reeled from the news. She had just had blood tests a few months before and all results from that test were normal. How could these abnormal markers come up out of nowhere?
I thought about blogging about our experience with this disease, but my wife asked me not to do so and the effort was just too much, just too heavy for me. Now that nearly six months have gone by, my wife is in remission from the myeloma and is about to be taken off dialysis. Her main problem now is that she has had excruciating sciatic pain from her hip down her leg and is basically immobile from that pain. I have had to learn to do the cooking, laundry, cleaning, vacuuming, grocery shopping, and any and all other household tasks to keep our home going in some kind of rational order. We are trying to schedule an appointment with another pain specialist to see if any relief is in sight.
Most of us have mixed feelings about going public with our personal illnesses, trials, and tribulations. Yet, any time we confront a crisis, we find that we are members of the select fraternity of people suffering from whatever malady we have. And there always seems to be some comfort in sharing experiences and bolstering each other's spirits. We have learned that the key is hope, the route is through countless prayers from countless friends and family, and that, somehow, we must keep going from day to day.
Throughout the coming days, I will recount the highlights of this six month odyssey into the spiraling darkness of multiple myeloma and our moment of sunshine, at least for the moment, from a remission, however temporary, in the hope that someone else may relate to this story and find some hope in their own situation.