I’m fighting depression, HIV, hepatitis C and multiple myeloma. These have been causing me so much pain lately. On top of that, I’m a single working mom, of a 19 year old daughter who has just finished her first year of college, and a 15 year old son who will be a junior in high school. I have to balance all of that along with a full time job.
I was told about the cancer about 15 months ago, and it just devastated me. The HIV is under control. I’m thinking about joining a study this summer so that I can get treatment for the Hep C. When I finally feel somewhat okay, I get sidelined with news that I have cancer. Up until about one or two months ago, I was “fine,” until I started having bone pain. The pain was so bad that a few times while I was at work, I had to go to the ladies room and cry. When I did mention it to my mom, she told me, “maybe you just need to get some rest. You have been doing a lot of running around between your job and the kids.” I just wanted to scream.
This past Monday, I decided to go see my doctor, and she decided to put me on pain medication (multiple myeloma can be a real b**^%). All the while, my mom is telling me “why don’t you just put a hot towel on whatever area is hurting and then take some Tylenol, that will help with the pain.” I try to explain to her that one, this is bone pain, heat does not help me. And two, I’ve tried Tylenol, Advil and Aleve and those have not helped, why does she think I’m at the doctors office! There is really not much support or understanding there. Anyway, I had lab work and a skeletal survey done on Monday and Tuesday. I’m waiting to hear the results of those to determine if I need to start treatment.
Yesterday while at work, I did mention to a coworker what I was going through (I just needed to talk) and he unequivocally told me that I was a warrior. He said, “So many people would have curled up in a ball in a corner and given up, but you just keep pushing on. You are a real warrior!” At that moment in time, I really didn’t agree with his comment, but now that I’ve had a few hours to reflect I understand. I am strong! I have been through hell and back. I have been faced with many, many obstacles, and have been able to continue on through it all. I honestly think it’s my kid’s that keep me going; but whatever it is, I guess I have learned that I am a fighter, and I hope that this is something that my kid’s see in me and will follow.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.