Our family went out for Thanksgiving today. It wasn’t my idea. Our neighbors asked us out and I couldn’t find a way out of it to save my life. I honestly didn’t want to go because I always feel like Tom Hank’s character in Cast Away. It’s always tick-tock with me. I don’t have the time to do anything because I have to maintain my schedule. I have things to do and no time to mess around! Or do I?

I wake up at the same time every single day. My alarm makes sure that I know it’s time to get up… even when I’ve been laying there for hours with my eyes wide open. A half hour later I’m taking my morning pills. From there I do my daily routine of getting the rug rat to school, take care of what I can around the house, I get my daily nap in and the alarm is going off telling me it’s time to get the rug rat. I get home from there and start getting dinner ready and by the time I’m done with that I’m hearing the alarm go off telling me it’s time to take my night time pills. About an hour later I’m asleep and the next thing I know I’ve got the alarm going off telling me to repeat what I did yesterday. The days run together and time disappears.

My biggest fear with having Multiple Myeloma is not having enough time to do the things I want to make sure I do before this disease takes away my ability to do things. That’s where my persistent neighbor comes in. We have been blessed to have really awesome neighbors. They are my parent’s age, but we get along so well. We  buy each other’s dog a treat or a toy, we shared custody of a gopher that went back and forth between our yards. They have gone out of their way on multiple occasions to make sure we are doing okay. Bob wasn’t having it with Thanksgiving. He cornered me and we ended up going out.

I guess that Thanksgiving out with the neighbors was my moment much like Tom Hank’s character had when he ended up on that island. I didn’t have that constant tick tock in my mind. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a dinner out with someone other than family, much less hated when it was over. I had a really good time and totally forgot about that clock. Now I have the time to sit back and reflect on the day and what I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful for my wife. She’s there for me. PERIOD. EXCLAMATION POINT! My daughter is a little mini-me of my wife, with a lot of me stuffed in there. She’s a millennium kid with a very fine taste in 80’s rock. She can rock AC/DC to Whitesnake and everything in between. She is everything a parent could wish for in a child. I’m thankful for my dad. We haven’t always had the best relationship, but we’re a work in progress. I’m thankful for the extended family that keeps a closer track on me than I do. I’m thankful for a childhood friend that reached out and found me so that we could reconnect. I’m thankful for so much, but one of the things that I’m thankful of is that I have this disease called Multiple Myeloma.

When you hear the saying that cancer changes you, you don’t grasp it unless you have it. There is no way for you to. It’s something that rattles you to your core and more. Don’t get me wrong…. I resent this disease because of what it has taken from me and my family, but I am thankful that it has forced me to change the way I look at things. Multiple Myeloma forced me to take a different look at things. I needed to take the blinders off and see the world around me and having this disease made me do that. There is so much beauty to be seen in the normal day to day routine that you miss when you have those blinders on. I’ve known this for awhile now, but more often than it should, I end up with those same blinders on while I’m looking at the clock going tick-tock. Thankfully, there are people in my world that make me take them off every now and then and see the world around me.


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