1940 / Class of
1992 / Died 4-93
(Written by his daughter, Shannon,
I am writing this letter to say how glad I was to have found a site for
Multiple Myeloma patients and their family.
I am not what you called an MM survivor or patient. However, my father was.
He was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 1992, the weekend my sister was
getting married. After a fall in late 1990, where he fell off of a box about 1
foot high, he broke his back, several ribs and had a collapsed lung. My father
missed one day of work after this fall, to try to "shake it off", but
he never got rid of the pain. After months of his injury not healing, the
doctors started to question why he wasn't healing. They finally started running
some tests where we finally got the answer of it - Multiple Myeloma. My family
lived in a small town in North Carolina, and my dad was sort of naive of what
cancer could really do, he thought the local doctors knew what they were doing
and didn't need to go see any specialist.
I dropped out of the college I was attending and moved home so I could stay
with my dad and help him when needed it, since my mom continued to travel with
her job. I have 3 other siblings who lived in different areas of the United
States, who tried support us and help, but they didn't see the day to day life
of my dad while he was living with MM. I will say that my dad is the bravest
person I have ever met. He never let his spirits down and would tell me he was
going to beat this. He continued to work full time, but eventually went half a
day just about a month before he died.
In April, my parents went to England to celebrate their 25th anniversary
(actually their 26th, but dad was having all of the tests done the year before).
The day before their departure, I walked into the kitchen where I found my dad
crying. This was the second time I saw my dad cry about his cancer, the first
being when the doctors told him about his cancer. He told me that he was tired
of fighting it. I begged my parents not to go to England, but my brother was
living there at the time and I knew my dad wanted to see him. My parents were
supposed to be there for 2 1/2 weeks. After a few days I received a phone call
from my mom saying that dad's meds were screwed up and they were bringing him
home. My mom brought my dad home, back to North Carolina and he passed away
three days later, April 23, 1993 - just a week shy of his 53rd birthday.
I wanted to share my story of my dad and how he lived with his MM. Like I
said, I am happy to see that this site is sharing stories. My family didn't know
that there was really any way to prolong this cancer. My dad had an appointment
for Duke the week they got back from England, but he never made it. I had heard
that this was a very painful disease, but my dad kept his pain hidden so we
didn't have to see it. But I am glad that my dad didn't suffer. He went from the
beginning stages of this cancer to the last stages in a matter of just a few
weeks. So I am just grateful that he wasn't in terrible pain for a long time.
Thank you for this site. I hope that one day a cure will be found