I am in a battle that I must win and I plan to win. The disease is called Multiple Myeloma but let’s call it what it is: CANCER. I never though I’d have to deal with that word when in association with MY body. I just never thought about it.
In late 2016, the holiday season, I started feeling “things” that bothered me but I was not really concerned with. Back pain which was so uncomfortable that I went to see a chiropractor about. He did some pushing and pulling and was convinced that I had a spine problem. I hurt more than when before I went in. Meanwhile, I had been having what can only be described as annoying feelings in my legs at night. Creepy, crawling feelings of uncontrollable leg sensations that kept me awake regardless of any self help remedy I read about and tried. I found a name for it. Restless Legs Syndrome. From right after Christmas it kept me awake walking the floors of my home ever night. I was still working during the day so I was getting very little, if any sleep! And the back was still killing me. I also noticed, and mentioned to my wife Melinda, that I was not urinating as much as usual. She is a veteran RN nurse and sensed something was not right but could not put a finger on it but pretty much demanded I go see my family doctor.
I made an appointment for Friday, January 6, 2017 to see Doctor Wattenberg. He asked the usual questions and poked and prodded. He also did X-rays for my back and did a FULL BLOOD work up. On Monday morning, shortly after 8am, I got a call from Wattengergs nurse telling me that I had an “urgent” medical situation and I needed to get to an Emergency Room ASAP. I’m a no panic, mild mannered guy but I didn’t like the way those words were flowing together. I asked what the problem was and she stated that my CREATININE level was at 18 and that my kidneys were shutting down. That really got my attention but still I was not panicked. I called Melinda on my way. I had chosen to go to UT Southwestern Hospital in Dallas because she worked at Parkland and they are almost across the street from one another. Oh, we live in Fort Worth.
When the ER folks ran my vitals my BP was a bit high, as expected I guess. A few minutes later the blood work came in and that’s when they became concerned and immediately checked me in because my kidneys were indeed failing and they needed to quickly find out why. Two days later I was told why: Multiple Myeloma. A form of Cancer I had never heard of but was told that it was not curable, but was treatable
. This blog will pick up my story from there. I hope you get just a bit of an idea of my daily, weekly and monthly ups and downs. Please feel free to respond with your thoughts, well wishes and prayers.
Oh, why the blog name of Cecil Stay Awake?
I have a vivid memory of being very sick one night during my 33 day hospital stay and my nurses on duty in my room begging me to “please stay awake Cecil” because I later found out they were afraid I was falling into a coma. I remember being in a state of almost emotionally distanced from it all but I could see my room slowly darkening as if my life was slipping away. This was during a very difficult stretch from late January to early February that I was touch and go. I’ll detail them as this blog moves along.