Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hearts and Flowers on Mum's Day

Two years ago I came out to the Northwest on a mercy mission, to help out my family with a relative who has Multiple Myeloma (MM). I was actually here for Mother's Day, but I don't remember much cause for celebrating it.

At that time I didn’t have the faintest idea what this disease was, and how variable it can be with each individual. I was on the fastest learning curve imaginable and part of the discovery was finding out about me as the stress and crisis escalated.

What strange paths I was led down as I stumbled along, gradually gaining information and confidence in my own strengths as part of a support team. But anguish crept in as well as I realized there were limitations and this is a disease that teaches you how little control you have over even the smallest aspects.

I returned to Florida, supposedly to pick up my life again after two intense visits in Washington state. I ended up taking an impulsive trip to Phoenix, Arizona, for a seminar and met the love of my life. Why did I do that then? Because MM taught me another lesson - don’t wait.

And who was this Mystery Man (another kind of MM)? He has lived in the NW almost all of his life, half of it in the food business and the last half in electronics. He has wired at least 40% of downtown Seattle for sound, including doing several special events. The son of a naturopathic and chiropractic doctor, Jey-hu's real interest is finding out how to make water better and electricity more productive. (I guess I need to interject here that "Jey-hu" is a Blog name, as is mine, to maintain the privacy of the MM relative.)

We also, as those of you have found out by reading this blog, share a love of photography and travel and both of us have done more of that together in the last year than either of us did singly in the two years previously.

My MM (Mystery Man) and I met up with the family MM recently and I was happy to see so many positive changes - brighter smiles - happier energy - and healthier color, not to mention hair on top; the best look in two years! And the family, like a budding spring plant, seems to be bursting forth with new hope as well.

THE SHARING

Isn’t this what all of us who are in or around MM dream of having? It is what has driven me as a blog supporter to bring to those I connect with. Just this past week many of the MM Planet “family” have been sharing their connection with “Nancy” who was, like “Andre” of this particular group, a very special soul. It is inevitable that each of us will go through to the ‘Other Side,’ but the goodbyes are harder sometimes, even when one gracefully bows out, taking the last curtain call like the Trapp Family in the “Sound of Music,” and we know when the house lights come up, the stage will be empty.

Yet I have so much to be thankful for - because I never would have known and blogged with Andre and Nancy if it hadn’t been for MM, and my life is richer for that connection with each of them; for the laughter and the tears. And the decisions I have made, from this “MM education,” have put me on a life path that, like the promise of new growth with an SCT, gives me a renewed sense of purpose.

THE CARING

My prayer for all the MM caregivers is that you are finding new sources of information and strength to encourage you as you begin a new day, even if the night before was short. An aside for Cassie: I know your nights are shorter with that new little "gem" in your life and everyone else you have to care for - hats off and many hearts to you!!

My prayer for all the MM bloggers, with your special needs, is that you are being guided to the right sources for the best support always and that you know, even in the dark when you wonder, that you are valued and loved.

And I send out my heart-felt gratitude to both caregivers and bloggers for the information and sharing that has helped me to better understand and appreciate the challenges you each face every day so that I am able to be more of whatever it is I need to be, whenever I may need to be it. Is “Thank you” really enough?

3 comments:

  1. Thanks Sandy.

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  2. How your wonderful words cheered me yesterday when I was feeling so low after a most bitterly stressful few days.In fact they brought tears to my eyes, which I can assure you is a good thing. Your understanding and appreciation of the daily emotional roller coaster all Carers and Patients of this complicated difficult illness go through, is amazing. I notice how you support us all, unfortunately there seems to be a growing number! How very difficult it is some days for the Carer to bring back some hope to a love one when things fall apart once more. The pain is immense watching someone you love suffer so, knowing they are trying to be so brave for you. Just to know that there are lovely people like you who take time to read your rants and for me love poured into the words I post to blogosphere(is there a word?)when you don't wish to burden your family and close friends who are so hurt to see your pain.
    Bless you Sandy for the friendship you show to so many who like me, appreciate it more than words can say X

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  3. Feresaknit: You are most welcome;
    and Susie: I am deeply touched by your reply and further grateful my words have found a place to provide comfort...

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