Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Journey from Pain to Thankfulness

Today as part of the release gathering for Red Rock Weddings, I am so blessed and honored to welcome Mary Kessler. She is the mother-in-law of my sister and a woman who has been through an incredible journey after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma. She helped me tremendously in my research for the third book in the collection, "Wasatch Love" where the hero deals with his sister ill from leukemia and in need of a bone marrow transplant.

I am grateful to Mary for all her help. She has agreed to be a guest today and share her story of courage amid adversity with you.

A few days after my husband of 42 years passed away from brain cancer, my family doctor called me to tell me that I had multiple myeloma (MM). At first I thought she was calling to express her condolences at Fred’s passing. Which is something she would do.

MM is a treatable but non curable cancer of the bone marrow. It affects (primarily) your blood, bones, and kidneys. Seems my orthopedic surgeon neglected to inform me that I had MM after my hip replacement surgery five years earlier. My family doctor found out about my condition circuitously. This delayed treatment, which caused more bone damage (read – ongoing pain) than necessary. The only thing I was grateful for at the time is that Fred did not know I was sick.

After two bone marrow transplants, I am now in remission. I have a compressed and fractured L4 vertebrae which causes (strangely enough) constant leg pain. I have to sleep in a chair, and I had to start using a walker at 63 years of age. To try and stay in remission as long as possible, I take a chemo pill every day. It causes low blood counts, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems but no hair loss. But I am grateful the treatment exists and that insurance pays most of the $11,000 a month the pills cost.  

But, all in all I am pretty happy. I thank God every morning that my pain pills work and try to enjoy the day. Then in the evening I thank God for the nice day. And the times when it seems too much, I just ask God to lift the burden from my shoulders.

Buy Red Rock Weddings which includes "Wasatch Love"

BOOK GIVEAWAY!! Leave a comment (where it says Post Comment) below for a chance to win the contemporary collection Virginia Weddings. It includes three stories in one, set in the lovely state of Virginia.  Please include your e-mail address. Giveaway ends Friday, October 28th at 10 PM est.

Amazon Gift Card!

The ONGOING UTAH PHOTO CONTEST  Each day on the blog there will be a photo from Utah featured as part of the ongoing Utah Photo Contest. Each day, take a look at the photo displayed and follow the instruction for that day. Keep track of your responses. There will be a total of five different photos, one for each day. (DO NOT POST YOUR ANSWERS HERE IN COMMENTS or on any of the blogs. If you do your answer will be deleted and your response that day will be disqualified). From Friday, October 28th - through Saturday, October 29th, e-mail your five answers to me at: blissful63(at)gmail(dot)com. From the most correct responses in the photo contest, I will select one winner of the Amazon Gift card!

PHOTO # 4 in the Utah Photo Contest - Name this unique feature found outside of Salt Lake City.

*IMPORTANT  - DO NOT post your answer here in the comments! **Keep track of your answers for each day and e-mail them to me from Friday October 28th to Saturday October 29th as stated above. There will be a total of five photos in all in the Utah Photo Contest. This is Photo #4. You can look back for other photos if you missed any this week.  

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