My mother, Cath, was diagnosed at the age of 56 with Multiple Myeloma: a rare form of cancer that affects the bones. None of my family knew anything about this weird type of cancer.
We didn’t know what it was like and what it was going to do to my mother’s body and life in general.
We freaked out over the word “CANCER” and when we saw the full body bone MRI X-Rays, everyone, including mum went into emotional meltdown about the unknown and the fear of CANCER.
Cath was given ‘about 6 months to 2 years to live’ and I for one am very glad that both Cath’s GP and oncologist declared that because it gave Cath (and us) a race to run…. together.
She didn’t want to die and we didn’t want her to either. We all decided to work together and the game plan was as follows:
- Find out what Multiple Myeloma was and how it was being treated in Australia at the time in 2006;
- Find survivors, and find out what symptoms and side effects we were going to deal with;
- Implement a new communication strategy for all of my family members;
- Support Cath and make sure we didn’t suffer in our work, relationships and our own families due to the very real urge to over support her; and
- Support and acknowledge Dad (Bob). He was in charge of this family plan and he had the final say on his wife’s welfare, what happened in their home and how we operated as a family around mum.
Sounds simple enough? The first two were easy. Within a few weeks we had information, people to talk to, hospital support groups and online forums to glean insights and information.
We found out who was the best in the country, which patients had lived or were still the longest living and what level of research this particular cancer had going for it. The findings were not very encouraging, still, we needed a benchmark and reality to deal with.
The third part of our game plan was…
You can read the FULL version of this article in our quarterly eZine, ‘Holistic Living Magazine,’ look for Edition 4 on this archive page. There’s many more articles about cancer waiting for you too!
Jen Harwood – Community Builder