The Game Of Life

Somewhere along the way in life’s journey I was told to do the right thing and let the cards fall where they may. It seems there are a lot of life lessons to be found in a deck of cards. You’ve got to know when to hold them, you have to play the cards dealt… etc. The one most people seem to relate to Multiple Myeloma patients is that life has dealt us a bad hand. I’ve been thinking about that last one a lot lately most likely because of the holiday season and this nasty viral infection that hit me hard enough to put me in the ER for a few hours. I’ve had a rough spot, for sure. 

Somewhere in between the coughing, the sneezing and the wheezing was the magic of Christmas and the promise of a New Year. My Christmas was nothing short of amazing. My wife and daughter got me a winch to put on my Jeep that I’ve been wanting since I bought the Jeep, but that’s not what made it so good. We had friends and family stop by and it completed the holidays for us. The smiles my girls had and the generally great mood everyone was in made it one of the best Christmas’ that I can remember.  

I was sitting on the computer goofing off while playing Call of Duty on my XBox One just after Christmas when I ran across an ad for a job. I haven’t worked in 17 months and I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary of my stem cell transplant. Getting a job wasn’t even on my back burner, but here was a job that actually fit me like a glove. I dusted off the old resume and applied for the job. I honestly didn’t give it a second thought until I got the call asking me to come in for an interview. 

The interview went last week and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I felt alive. I felt energized. I felt more like the old me than I have in years. I didn’t practice for the interview. I didn’t prepare in any way other than to do a little light research on the company.  It just so happens that the general manager had a heart attack and they found a defect in his heart that required a medical device to help him out. We ended up pulling out our cards to see which one had the better card. I’m a Mayo Clinic patient, so I’m biased towards them, but his card from Medtronic was a lot nicer than my transplant card. Mine is only needed for a year, but his is for life, so I guess he needs a better card. It was the craziest thing you could imagine, but there I was…. a Multiple Myeloma patient that hasn’t worked in almost a year and a half because of this disease and the treatment, and the guy interviewing me not only understood what I’ve been going through, but he actually knew how that would make me a better employee.  

That takes me back to my first sentence. Do the right thing and let the cards fall where they may. I’ve done that. I’m that guy that always looks for the bright spot in any situation. I’ve been dealt a set of cards most people think are some pretty bad cards, I see it a bit different. I think that everything I’ve gone through in life has prepared me to handle this point in my life. I have faced one obstacle after another and I’m still here. I’ve had one catastrophic event after another and I’m still here. I’ve had one opportunity after another to apply what I’ve learned. I’ve had one chance after another to play my hand and sometimes I have to bluff my way through it, sometimes I’ve had to plow through it…. sometimes I’ve had to just sit back and watch everything play out, but I’m here. I do the right thing and I let the cards fall where they may. 

It leads me to this point. I’m turning the BIG 5-0 this year. I’m most likely going to be starting a job where I get to help make sure people have jobs to go to. I’m enjoying the best lab results that I’ve seen since I was about 25 and I have too many blessings to count. While we can debate on the quality of my hand, the one thing you can’t deny is my ability to play the cards. One day I’m going to get that hand no one wants, but today is not that day and the more I stay in the game, the better my outlook seems to be.

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