multiple myeloma (MM)
In 2020, at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM). To say this was out of left field would be an understatement. Historically, MM has been recognized as a blood cancer that impacts older patients. That research may be changing. Also, MM disproportionally affects African Americans. At the time of my diagnosis, I was a pretty healthy guy. I tried to eat right and even played in two basketball leagues each week. When I went to the doctor with stomach issues, I wasn't expecting to leave with a cancer diagnosis.
Myeloma threw me and my family for a loop. I went through six months of chemotherapy (Revlimid® and Velcade®) and had a stem cell transplant in the summer of 2022. I can honestly say this has been the toughest thing I have ever experienced. But I am glad that is not where the story ends. I am currently in remission, and I feel great! I'm even back on the basketball court. This has been a heck of a journey, but it has been packed with purpose.
Since my diagnosis, I have become a Community Ambassador through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and was a recent guest on the LLS Bloodline podcast. My hope is to encourage other cancer 'thrivers' to keep fighting and understand that cancer does not have to have the final say.
In my day job, I am a mental health counselor and professor. What I have always admired most about my clients is their resiliency. Little did I know that MM would introduce me to my own resiliency. As cancer survivors, never underestimate the resiliency of your body, mind, and spirit.