It seems unreal that somewhere around 525,600 minutes (thank you Rent for doing the math) or in simpler terms, one year, has passed since my life changed forever. When I got my diagnosis in April of 2015, I waited a whole week to process it before I shared it publicly, mostly because I had a lot of research to do to comprehend the information laid before me. Then of course there was the period of shock and denial. I still find it odd that Multiple Myeloma is the second largest form of blood cancer yet very few people in the world even know what it is, myself included up until a year ago.

This past year has been a roller coaster of emotions and and constant struggle to pull myself up each hill of the ride to keep myself on top. At the end of the day I know despite my misfortune of having this disease that I am blessed. I’m still here a year later, and I’ve gone through that whole year not having to start the horrible treatment that so many others have had no choice but to do right away. It seems crazy that even though my white blood cell count is ridiculously low, that the only illness that I have battled since diagnosis is one common chest cold due to a ill prepared camping trip. Though I believe my clean diet plays a huge factor in this (don’t worry, I’ll ramble about that in a different post!) My Myeloma markers themselves are nearly identical to the numbers seen at diagnosis, no better, no worse. So I remain in the smoldering state of Myeloma, where I hope to stay and never graduate to full blown Multiple Myeloma.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you that is been on this journey with me, whether it be in person, prayer, or spirit. You have impacted my life more than you’ll ever know and have helped me to see the light when my attitude turns bitter. To the countless people who donated to the medical expense account that friends graciously set up for me last year, there isn’t a day that goes by that I am not eternally thankful for the help in easing the financial burden of all of the numerous trips to Buffalo for testing as well as the costly procedures involved. They are things that treatment or not, my life will be filled with in the years to come, with no end in sight unless a cure is found. I’m truly blessed and touched by you all.

So what path does this journey take me from here? As I mentioned recently I still have regular lab work, though I’ve received the green light to have blood drawn every six weeks rather than every four weeks (insert happy dance). Some the major tests will happen on a yearly basis, some less frequently so long as my markers stay the same. Though I’d be ok with never having that giant bone marrow biopsy needle near my backside again, I know it’s in the future somewhere. I’m due back at Roswell on May 23rd to meet with my Bone Marrow Transplant Specialist where I will also get my yearly bone density scan to ensure that my Osteopenia (onset of Osteoporosis, in my case caused by the Myeloma). If all goes well I won’t need to go up there for six more months, though I will still have my every three month appointments with my local oncologist. I think it might even be safe to say that my goal of walking down the aisle in July not yet having done treatment might not be so crazy after all?

I will close with a few inspiring words from the song Seasons of Love from the musical Rent:

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love?
Measure in love

Read more: RENT – Seasons Of Love Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Enjoy life to the fullest, embrace every moment, and be thankful for the love around you. Let the good weigh out the bad. We are all just lucky to be here and be loved.