Myeloma Heroes Come in Many Forms

I find myself enormously inadequate to fully explain why I think this lady, my wife, should be selected as a Multiple Myeloma Hero, but whether she is or not, she is my hero.

My wife, Francis L. Greene, is my hero. But in all honesty, I’m somewhat at a loss forwords to adequately describe why I hold these strong feelings for her beyond the love of our long marriage.

Francis and I were married quite young, on January 5, 1958, after a year and half of engagement and separation. I knew after graduating from high school with plans to join the United States Air Force that, if I didn’t get her commitment before departing, I may lose her. To my surprise, she agreed and we were off, me to various military assignments and she remaining at home with her mother awaiting my return.

A year and half later, after tours in Missouri and Morocco, we were married —finally.The past nearly 65 years have been full of life, both figuratively and physically, me advancing my military career and she raising our three children.

All went as expected until 2019 when I received a diagnosis of smoldering myeloma and subsequently multiple myeloma in 2020. By then we had retired and were looking forward to visiting family and friends. That was not to be, however, since the side effects of myeloma were takinga toll. My right hip failed and I was unable to drive or carry my weight around the household. This occurred just as COVID-19 came upon us andall nonemergency surgeries were placed on hold.

Too, my hemoglobin count was far too low to consider surgery because of failing kidneys. The consequences of the myeloma and chronic kidney failure essentially converted me into a household invalid requiring the full-time support of my wife. How she managed during those stressful times when I could not drive and was on a weekly treatment schedule 20 miles away is beyond me.

Eventually, conditions allowed for the hip surgery but not without limitations both in motion and weight bearing. I can now drive again, but Francis has continued to carry the life-supporting burden of day-to-day needs and upkeep for the two of us and our household. She has continued this effort over the past three years without complaint, offering encouragement at every opportunity.

I find myself enormously inadequate to fully explain why I think this lady, my wife, should be selected as a Multiple Myeloma Hero, but whether she is or not, she is my hero.Neither of us expected nor understood the demands of support needed for a patient with myeloma, but we have learned and she has never faltered. How I can ever repay such devotion and care is beyond me, but it is time I start acknowledging to others just how much she and her selfless efforts mean to me in these trying times.

I love her dearly and would genuinely appreciate her selection as a Multiple Myeloma Hero by CURE®. Today she certainly has earned the recognition.

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.