5/1 – Five Months

Five months ago today (12/1/12) I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  This rare plasma cell/blood cancer that I had never heard of before then has taken me on an incredible journey.

I have learned more about myself – what I feel, how I express those thoughts, the meaning of family and what I am capable of – than I could have ever imagined.  If there is a SILVER LINING to Cancer it is self discovery.

Over the last five months I have been able to relish all of the small moments and daily interactions that make up my life.  Everyone I encounter has an impact on me.  From the support and care of family and friends to the kindness of medical professionals and strangers – my life is made up of SILVER LININGS that happen every day.

I remember my first visit to the oncologist when I asked him if I would live for my kids’ bar mitzvahs – he said YES.

I remember my first visit to Mount Sinai Hospital and Dr. J and the confidence he inspired that I would live a long time.

I remember all of the research done by all of my family in the medical profession.

I remember my first treatment when the nurse (Gitty) held my hand and said “I am very happy for you…you are on your way.”

I remember telling my kids – this isn’t so bad – you have nothing to worry about.

I remember all of my family and friends who came to treatments with me to keep me company and held my hand.

I remember the first night I was able to sleep in a position other than on my back.

I remember the first night I was able to sleep without pain medication.

I remember the first time I got the blood markers back that showed we were heading toward remission.

I remember the first time I put my pants on without holding onto a dresser or the wall for support.

I remember running during basketball practice for the first time in over a year.

I remember my first spin class.

I remember every email, every text, every phone call and every hug I have gotten since 12/1/12.  Although the journey is just beginning, we have accomplished much.

BUT I also remember that I am five months into something that is supposed to only last five to seven years.  I need to remain vigilant against this.  I need to keep grinding it out every day.  I plan on exceeding that five to seven years life expectancy by a great deal and I can thank you all in advance for helping me achieve that goal.

Thank you.

#bradstrong

 

 

 

9 responses to “5/1 – Five Months

  1. Every time we read your posts we are inspired by your strength of purpose. Your are acting as a therapist with your beautiful words. You are iving life to the fullest no matter what is put in your path. So amazing!!!!! Keep it up, you are helping so many people. We wend our love and hugs and prayers. Joni and Jeffrey

  2. 5 months! And you’re doing great! Keep grinding and keep fighting and keep writing. Your posts and attitude are motivating.

  3. You are a fighter Brad. But more important is the fact that you have the courage and determination to combat this and win. As we learned by the story of David vs Goliath, it is not Brut strength and size that wins. It is smarts, true courage, and inner strength. Keep going, one day, one step at a time!

  4. I repeat ” A journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step. ” From my view you are well along the journey. I admire your fortitude and praise your outlook. Keep punching and you will control the fight.

    ________________________________

  5. Hello beloved Bradstrong.
    I am at the age 77 marker and still working full time. I have reserved a place for you to sit down for a minute or two when you pass this marker, too. Love, Uncle Herb

    Herb Nechin
    Associate Director of Gift Planning
    Office of Alumni Relations and Development
    Northwestern University
    1201 Davis Street
    Evanston, IL 60208
    (847) 491-7394
    h-nechin@northwestern.edu

  6. Dear Brad, Remembering is great and all of those milstones are very important.But now is the time to look forward and not look back – the best is yet to come!

    Take care and give Helene, Victor and Ava big hugs and kisses. Love, Aunt Robrta

  7. Hey Brad, its your Uncle Gary. All I can say is thanks so much for giving us the words you write every day.your thoughts, the parts of your days, not to mention the time it takes to write for us. Even in adversity you have chosen to give these gifts to all of us. I know that it is therapy for you, but you may not know how valuable, how powerful, and how inspiring they are.these gifts are to us.
    Yours is more than a life worth living, and you have not stopped! not once! not now! not ever! I’m so proud of you, proud to be your uncle, ” Heh, you know Brad Coustan, I’m his uncle!

    I Love you,
    Uncle Gary

  8. Brad-

    Your words and blog are always so thoughtful and inspiring. You have so many dear friends and family behind you sending strength to you. We know you WILL beat this! Always thinking of you. Jennifer + Doug

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