I think I've mentioned before that I'm not a writer. English in school was my worst subject. I struggled through any creative writing assignment that I had to do. I would even go as far as to say it was painful for me to do any writing. I lump writing emails or making a post for this blog in the same category. Many times I try to start a new article but my mind is all tangled up like a ball of yarn. Many thoughts are jumbled up inside and I just don't know how to get them down on paper.

When I first started knitting, my mother taught me to look for the start of the ball in the center. You stick your finger in one of the ends of the ball and pull out a section of yarn. The end would come out with that jumble of yarn and you were on your way to knitting your project. The remaining yarn would seamlessly flow out of that hole until you came to the other end. When I started knitting again a few months ago, I tried this same technique. What I ended up with was a horrible mess of tangled yarn. It was painstaking work to untangle it so I learned my lesson. Each ball after that, I took my time to unwind it and rewind it back into a ball. It was time well spent.

So how does one untangle the mess of thoughts and emotions that are running around in your head? I guess it would be the same way you would untangle a ball of yarn.....one step at a time, one thread at a time, until you see some progress. Don't try to untangle it all at once, but pick one knot and work on it. Then move to the next one and so on and so on. It won't be long and you will have a nice neat ball of yarn.

The past few weeks have been emotional ones in our household. We had an appointment with Dr. A and he stressed again that Mr. B had an aggressive form of Multiple Myeloma cancer. He would continue to treat Mr. B for about 4 more months in the hope that his protein numbers would be reduced enough to be considered for a stem cell transplant. If they did not come down and hold steady, then his only other treatment option would be a drug called Revlimid. Mr. B left that appointment feeling very depressed. He said that he felt he had been given a death sentence. The rest of the week he cried often. During this time I was considering some contract work outside of the home. It would be for 2 days a week and would last for about 4 months. The important thing was that it would ease some of the financial pressure that we are under right now. But after seeing the turmoil that Mr. B was going through, I had to search my heart and determine if it was in the best interest of both myself and Mr. B if I worked outside the home. I tried doing it last April & May when I worked 2 or 3 days a week. I had forgotten that I was very stressed during that period of time and was only too happy to have it end. Mr. B & I had a real heart to heart talk. We cried lots and we even ventured into the area that we have ignored since he was diagnosed. Yes, we had "the talk". We addressed the elephant in the room finally and talked about getting some wills prepared and getting our financial affairs in order. It was very hard to talk about and we didn't talk about everything but it set the wheels in motion. So with great trepidation I called the client the next day to say it was just not good timing for me to work in their office right now. To my surprise, he said that he felt I could do the work remotely from home! What an answer to prayer! Now I will be earning some extra money that will help cover our bills plus I can stay at home to monitor Mr. B. 

Don't get me wrong....it's not that Mr. B is a total invalid who can't be left alone. But I've noticed in the past that when I'm away lots, he tends to get more depressed. He has never been the kind of person that has lots of friends or hobbies to keep him busy. His life has been work, me and tv. Not sure which order they go in. *g*  There have been weeks and even months where he would not get a visit or a phone call from anyone. So I feel it is very important that I'm around him as much as possible to keep him connected to the real world. Each week I see the chemo treatments take a little more out of him physically. He is still struggling with nausea and the dry heaves or vomiting from the treatments and out of 7 days a week, he will only feel good for maybe 2 of them. It breaks my heart to see him suffer so much each week. And when Mr. B has a good day, my hopes start rising again that maybe the treatments are starting to work. But a few days later, he will crash again and I'm reminded that his journey is far from over. It truly is a roller coaster ride.

But the one good thing that has come out of this nightmare is that for the first time in our 37 years of marriage, we are starting to communicate from our hearts. The baby steps that we took this week have been awesome. I know that there will be many more in the coming months. Please....hug your spouse and tell them that you love them, at least once a day. You will never regret it.
 
I came across this quote when I was looking for a photo to accompany this post. At first I passed it by because I wasn't sure if I liked what it said or if I even agreed with it. I will explain why.

Up until Aug of 2011, I had never even heard of a cancer called Multiple Myeloma. During that time, I heard that one of my co-workers had a husband that was fighting cancer so I asked her how he was doing and what kind of cancer he had. She told me that he had MM and tried to explain it to me. Since I like to be informed, I immediately ran to my favourite search engine and googled it. I came away with much more insight into this cancer. In November of 2011, her husband had a stem cell transplant and was doing very well. I quit my job in December, 2011 and within a month found out that Mr. B was diagnosed with MM also. So I guess I have to admit that this quote is true. I don't think it was a mistake that I was working at this company and met a caregiver for someone who was battling this cancer. Because of her, I already had a basic knowledge of this cancer when Mr. B was diagnosed. So I have to admit that it was a blessing that I was able to learn from and not just a coincidence.

On Thursday of this past week, I received an email from a different woman in the same office. She had left our office about a year before I did but I had kept in contact with her. As a matter of fact, her new employment was at the same hospital where Mr. B spent 3 visits. I even ran into her in the hallway during his last hospitalization. She told me in the email that her husband was recently diagnosed with....wait for this.... Multiple Myeloma. So what are the chances of three people in the same office having husbands with the same cancer?

I had been told that Multiple Myeloma was a rare cancer so I did some research at the Canadian Cancer Society to find out some statistics. There are an estimated 186,400 new cases of cancer that will be diagnosed in 2012. Of those new cases, only 2,300 will be Multiple Myeloma cancer. So I guess it is not as common as lung, prostate, breast or colorector cancers which account for over 50% of all new cancers diagnosed. But it does seem to be an amazing coincidence that three people in the same office would have been affected by MM. I had also heard that Multiple Myeloma is the fastest growing cancer in the world with the most new cases diagnosed. I was only able to find two references to that statement and both were from about 10 years ago. I would be very curious to know how that statement stands today.

So I think that this quote was bang on for me. Knowing people that are struggling with this same cancer can turn into a blessing. Only those of us that are walking the same journey can truly understand what it is like. And I pray that I can be a blessing to any caregivers who have a loved one that was recently diagnosed with this horrible cancer.