August 20, 2021

Not a Good Word to Hear: You’ve got Multiple Myeloma

The Newsletter 05

Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, and he told me donating plasma did not cause my cancer.

I was in so much pain just walking my infant son up 10 flights of stairs to my apartment. My wife was a nurse aide at a clinic, and was working long hours and I had to be our only baby sitter. Since covid-19, I wasn’t working and had a virus scare, so she felt I needed to stay home with our son to keep him safe.

I am a heavy secret cigarette smoker, due to bad nerves, paranoid, and plus my dad just passed over a year ago, from cancer. So, of course as a married ego-tipped black man and not working, father is gone and my mom is depressed all the time. I needed something to keep me going.

So, after my wife paid our rent and a few other bills, she gave me some spending money. It was only $45, I wanted to tell her to keep it but I didn’t. What I did was placed it in a secret stash that I had hidden away from her.

In that stash was $200, a stash I was going to use to treat my beautiful and loving woman of 7 years. We had an 8-year-old son, who also was playing soft ball. Thanks to my brother who was a coach, he kept him most of the time with his own kids.

One day I wanted to go in the stash and grab some cigarette money. But being the man that I were, and the promise to my conscience I kept, I decided to go to a local plasma donation center.

You see them all over the place in my town, $45 for your first visit etc. I was no stranger to donating blood or plasma; many years ago I did it all the time to make money.

So, when the doctor called me back into his offer one fateful day and said you’ve got cancer. I almost lost my mind. And the type of cancer he said I had. I started blaming the plasma donation places I frequented recently and years before.

Then the doctor told me about my cancer. Multiple Myeloma, is a cancer of the plasma cells, and he told me donating plasma did not cause my cancer. He even said I didn’t have the diagnosis of the disease when I was if I attending the plasma centers. Because the last time I donated was 8 months ago, but still I was confused and worried.

I started thinking about my late dad, who was a heavy smoker and mom who still drank a lot. How in the world did I get this type of cancer, and plasma cells at that?

More reading:

The plasma cells area type of white blood cell in the bone marrow. With this condition, a group of plasma cells become cancerous and multiplies. The disease can damage the bones, immune system, kidneys, and red blood cell count.

Symptoms do require a medical diagnosis, but you may experience loss of appetite, bone pain, and fever.

And we don’t know for sure if the young man in the story caught cancer from smoking or donating plasma over the years. And we don’t know if he could have spread his bad genes to others.

However, let’s turn to the experts:

https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/multiple-myeloma/introduction

https://www.medicinenet.com/multiple_myeloma_deadly_to_chronic/article.htm

THE RISK

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319162#side-effects

This is a fictional story to make black men aware of this deadly incurable disease. A knot on my coworker brother’s big toe, turned out he had advanced stage of multiple myeloma. He died months later, all because he brushed the pain and the bruise off. If he, like many of our other black brothers had of gone to the doctor regularly, a blood test would have showed abnormalities.

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