I had my first tumor in 2003 at 33 years old. I had the worst and best week of my life in March of 2003. On a Friday, I took my 8 hour professional engineering licensure exam, On the following Tuesday, I found out that I had one solitary tumor, not multiple, and on that Thursday my wife had our first child, my son.

Needless to say, the 4 months leading up to that week were, well, nuts. I broke my back playing golf. It was a hell of a shot, laying up just short of the green from 140 yards out in the trees. I thought I had just pulled something, badly. As I spent the next months seeing doctors, while studying for my engineering exam, I began to realize this is not good.

I have now been treated off and on for 11 years, and have enjoyed every minute of my life. I have had a daughter, remodeled a house, become a Cubmaster, and done many other things that have made life so full. I am confident, especially with the new treatments out there, that I will be around for awhile longer and possibly long enough to see my grandkids.

In general, I have adopted a philosophy that I read in a poker book: “Raise or Fold”. This applies to how you interact with your doctors as well, and your personal level of committment to your treatment. When they recommend something, research it before making a decision. They are mostly all good guys, but you are the client/customer, and it is after all a matter of life and death. If you do not trust one of your doctors, consider it carefully, but leave them and find one you can trust. And most of all, learn when to put myeloma aside, and enjoy life.

— Bryant C.

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