This website is meant to promote a book as yet incomplete, namely Marrow Me, a memoir of my life with multiple myeloma. In short, this site is a stub, bub. I’m glad you’re here, whether you’re a fellow myelomaniac, care for someone who is, or just curious. Please check back — more content will be added over time.
In December 2005, at age 44, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a still-incurable cancer of the blood, the plasma cells specifically. (Soft cells, tainted blood…for fans of vintage techno-pop, the comic opportunities are endless.) Symptoms include one or more of the following: rapid bone decay, anemia, kidney failure, an inability to fend off even routine infections, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope. (For fans of Monty Python, the comic opportunities are endless.) At least one set of medical statistics at the time gave me a general life expectancy of 3-5 years, which means I should be dead right about….now.
In point of fact, myeloma is an especially tricky and unpredictable cancer, with some patients borne off soon after diagnosis, while others respond strongly to treatment, living well over a decade past onset of the disease, either in complete remission, or with the myeloma relatively “contained,” less a terminal condition than a chronic one. This favorable uptick in survival rates is due to the abundance of new treatments that current medicine has brought to bear upon myeloma as its profile (so to speak) has risen within the field of cancer research over the past couple of decades. As I like to put it: Myeloma is now not so much of a death sentence as it is a death paragraph.