During my transplant I remember wondering if the doctors or nursing staff knew what I was like. What I was really like. I felt like I looked like everyone else – bald, tired and pretty sickly. I was “the patient.” I had a medical record number that I recited when I visited the clinic. The people at my facility were loving and kind, but my real identity seemed to be disappearing, sucked into the fog of multiple myeloma.
One day, something snapped. Myeloma had overtaken my life and I wanted it back. Being on the meds was hard and altered my personality, but in a flash I realized that I was not my pain. I didn’t have to be identified by a disease or the experiences I had to endure. I was a woman who liked to cook, read, write, sing and help other myeloma survivors. I was the wife of an energetic, entrepreneurial husband, a mom to lots of busy and clever kids, a sister, a daughter and a friend. I had dreams, hopes and a future.
While the “cancer patient” label speaks to the depth of experiences I’ve endured, I still don’t have to be identified by my pain, no matter how painful. I wrote and recorded this song because the learning goes on and yes, I will never be the same.