In August, 2014, I was diagnosed with stage one "neoplasm with plasma cell differentiation", a lab's admission (twice, a year apart) that they're not exactly sure whether I have lymphoma or myeloma. The lab report suggested that this unusual situation might mean that the cancer is aggressive, with a 50% five-year survivability.
It came out of the blue. No idea I was sick or had a tumor, which announced itself by rupturing early one morning. I decided I could do the 4-mile drive in 10 minutes, a lot faster than paramedics could arrive. After about 1/4 mile, the pain was so bad that I could barely pull over and open the door. I got out and laid on the ground for a few minutes until a guy saw me there.
He called paramedics, "Old man lying by the side of the road..." . I was in so much pain that I couldn't even use my cell phone to call Glenna. (Except the for Neil Young homage, this paragraph is not an attempt at humor! The next one, taking place in a fake E.R., is.)
"Mr. Slomer, how would you describe your pain?" "It's killing me."
"How would you rate your pain?" "It's killing me. I thought we went over that. Okay... excruciating, horrific;
I'd rather have shards of glass in my eyes... how do I convey this pain to you..."
"On a scale of 1 through 10, how is your pain?" The joke is, Brian Regan (whom I've quoted above), says 10 and a guy with
a broken femur screams, "WHO HAS THE AUDACITY TO CLAIM 10!"
So I said, "At least 11." And I wasn't lying.
Back to serious...
After four months of treatment (by Dr. Islas of OHC) for lymphoma with chemo, there was "no evidence of disease" (they now say, instead of "in remission"; I still say "remission"), After six months' remission, a routine scan showed another tumor, though I felt fine. It was biopsied but still found to be unidentifiable. So Dr. Islas and Dr. Dean (of Cleveland Clinic) decided to use a targeted therapy to treat me for myeloma (since treatment for lymphoma wasn't very successful). This got me back into remission, a requirement for thestem cell transplant I underwent in December, 2015 (which, per statistics, increased my five-year survivability to 60%).
I recovered quickly from the transplant since I'd (otherwise) been in good health all along, which makes me optimistic enough to think I'm going to be around past 2020.
So far so good. My last scan, in July, showed "no sign of disease", which is how they say "in remission" these days.