Dear Journal

Thursday, August 30, 2007


This could be one of my last journal pages. I am positive, but the doctor said that ninety percent of the plasma cells running through my blood are Myeloma. Ninety percent means close to death. That must be why my back and chest hurts so much. It seems as though there is a brick in my upper rib cage.


Lesson, when you have Multiple Myeloma, a simple bone X-ray is never enough. I complained about my back for just a little over a year. At first, I felt pain over my entire back. Then, I told Dr. Rubin about severe back pain from the base of my skull, on the spine, down to my waist. He neither ordered an X-ray, nor an MRI, even though one of the first signs of Multiple Myeloma trouble is back pain. Instead, he just ordered more Decadron.


I had to ask for an X-ray from my primary care physician. The X-ray gave the impression that I had osteoporosis, so Dr. Rubin just accepted that without requesting an MRI. Any doctor with real knowledge of Myeloma knows that an X-ray alone does not say anything about what is truly wrong with the patient. An MRI is the next necessary step to see what is actually going on. Dr. Rubin would not ask for an MRI. Was he trying to save the insurance company money?


Over time, my back became worse. I continued to ask for an MRI. Dr. Rubin talked to me as if I had not needed an MRI before. I explained to him that I had an MRI when Myeloma tumors were present on my left femur, and left pelvic bone. He did not remember. In fact, Dr. Rubin acted totally surprised and said he needed to look back in my file, which he could not find at the time.


After about eight months on Dexamethasone, and continued back pain, he took me off the Decadron for a “summer break.” Well, when he took me off of the Decadron, my back experienced unbelievable pain–still, no MRI.


Dr. Rubin had been a wonder doctor in the beginning. He discovered my illness and referred me to the City of Hope immediately. When I needed a blood transfusion, he did not wait for the paperwork, he had it done immediately. Then, he understood the difference of life and death.


On Wednesday, I was transferred to Kindred Hospital in Santa Ana. I was happy until I arrived. They did not have the wound-vac machine in my room like they told my nurse Jeanne. In fact, they didn’t have an available wound care unit in the building at the time. Talk about the left hand not telling the right hand there’s a sun in the sky.


Now, my insurance company, Blue Cross, wants me to go to Promise Healthcare. That would mean leaving all of my doctors and nurses, the people who already know me. Every time the insurance company makes a one-sided decision, I suffer because of it, and they don’t seem to care that my health undergoes negative changes because of their decision.


When I think about everything I have been through, there is so much for me to be thankful for. At least I am still breathing on my own. This view from my window saved my life. Every morning was beautiful, even when I did not feel well. Just to see the sunlight, and the Red Bougainvillea across the parking lot, lifted my spirits. Marcus, my husband, is so brave, so strong. So unwilling to let me drown in self-pity, and anger, and sadness, and fear, those awful little emotions that try to muscle their way into my peace of mind, and prayers, and all of my thanksgiving, just because he loves me and believes in miracles. My wonderful husband turned out to be my knight in shining armor.


I want Jonathan to have all of my journals and try to turn them into a book of some sort. I have poems and various things in them. Sometimes, Jonathan, there are things in my journals that hit deep in places that tell it like your mother really felt. I was so angry with a lot of things, especially cancer. I did not always write well, but I always wrote what I felt. Whatever you read, please remember that I always loved and continue to love your father. I just had a very difficult time, as I told you we women go through.


Michael, you are my baby. I’ve always felt you were going to do something with that crazy guitar, or your camera. You have a talent that you and Jonathan, and your buddies, can guide toward a great business. I hope you and Jonathan cause great things for Black people through music and films–great luck with your independent films and your cool studio. I’m falling asleep. It’s 1:18am. Good night. I love you and Jonathan with all my heart and soul. Just like I love your Papa. I never call him Papa, but I did this time. Your dad is the best dad in the entire world. The entire universe. Always help him when you can. Lead great manly lives. Visit him, phone him, and see your grandmothers and other relatives when you can. They are the only family you will ever have.


I wish I could write more.

If I can write more.

If I have time to write more.

I’ll say more.


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