Thursday, December 20, 2012

Emma Enduring

As the Christmas season really starts to get underway,  there are lots of causes that are seeking funding and pulling at our heartstrings. But there is one cause I wish I could put an end to and that's Multiple Myeloma. Not just for my personal connection to it, but because as time as gone by I've grown to know quite a few people who have become more than just a name.

Be careful walking in the woods these days... I was caught by surprise
when this giant snowman appeared, just about the time the snow did.
It was because of Lorna's blog that I was led to Emma, a lively and young woman in the U.K. who is enduring cycles of treatments because she wants nothing more than to be normal again. I don't have much in the way of resources to make a difference except I'd like to ask that if you feel so inclined, stop by and offer up some encouragement to this spunky gal.

And to remind my readers that even on your roughest days, if you don't have MM, please STOP complaining that you may have to wait in a line, or get stuck in traffic, or have weather interfere with your plans, because all of that is better than spending a full day with nurses bollocking up IV lines, or having someone grind out bone marrow from your hip with something that looks like a drill bit for oil researchers, or living with the anxiety that the next well-meaning person who sneezes in your direction could be putting your life at risk, for which a breezy "Sorry..." apology is hardly sufficient.

So this is also a reminder to everyone about the season for 'bugs,' that hand-washing is really important, staying home if you think you are coming down with something, sneeze into your elbow and not your hands, and for heaven's sake (because we are nearly full right now) if you know someone with a compromised immune system, don't go and visit them - call or send food instead.


  1. dear sandy,

    what an earth angel you are! this post is so wonderful on so many levels. readers who take you up on the suggestion to visit emma's blog will help them understand MM as experienced by such a young woman, cut down by this beastly disease before she's had the chance to completely live a normal young adult life. it is heartwrenching that so many much younger people are afflicted with MM, and we need to have a better understanding of how it affects them. i join you in suggesting your readers to tune into emma's blog - her story is told in intimate detail with sometimes raw, sometimes hilarious, but always incredibly honest words.

    your plea to urge others to take care to do basic things to prevent spreading germs is especially welcomed. living with the fear of illness, much magnified if one has a compromised immune system is a serious issue. we would dearly love to go to a movie, attend a concert, but often avoid such pleasures for the very reasons you cite.

    thank you for advocating for us, sandy. sometimes people just need to be given some heightened awareness, and you've certainly done a good job providing just that.

    love and joy to you this holiday season, and always,

    karen, TC

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Karen! My other motivation for pointing in Emma's direction is exactly what you noted, that too many young people are being affected by this disease... and why? Just like AIDS was never a 'gay' disease, MM is beginning to prove itself not just for older, male African Americans. And it is appearing in more 'civilized' countries than in remote areas which suggests that it is a manifestation of improvements in quality of living; an ironic thing since it robs the patient of that very thing. I am going to do what I can to help uncover the cause.

  3. dear sandy,

    you have undoubtedly seen the post by our young UK MM patient in which she has been told the treatment she has been given has not been as successful as hoped to bring her into remission. did your heart sink? mine did. so much so i went to miss P's site and left yet again my request for a special mission to watch over her countrywoman, for whom, most likely,preparation will commence for an allo transplant after being off all treatment for the next 4 weeks. just wanted you to know. you have lavished so many of us with such incredible support, compassion, and love and have extended the same to our friend. perhaps at this most crucial crossroad in her illness we can do all we can to uplift her and reinforce her hope and strength.


    karen, TC

    1. Dear Karen - I have not been able to get on the Internet here in the Andes except at the cafe, so have been playing catch-up today. Have advised Emma I am holding good intentions for her and will get started doing some heavy lifting of those intentions during the next few weeks... thanks for letting me know. love and hugs!

  4. dear sandy,

    ah, the power in numbers, and of being able to align intentions
    to help comfort her and do all possible to thwart any further pain and suffering. your heart is big, your mindfulness and intending a force to be reckoned with. i'll fly on your coatails to offer my humble efforts as well, if that's okay with you. thank you sandy, thank you.

    love, XOXO,

    karen, TC