3 years ago, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It’s not one of the well-known cancers you would have heard of before; in fact, I had never heard of it prior to starting my medical degree. My dad had never heard of it either, until the doctor told him ‘I think you might have Myeloma’ – which meant absolutely nothing to him, until he came home and reported the doctor’s suspicions to me. I remember it so clearly, the way he said recalled the name so unconcerned, without any concept of the implications of the diagnosis placed before him, and I stared at him, shocked, confused, and uttered, “Dad, myeloma is a cancer”.
And there started our journey as a family, of blood tests, bone marrow biopsies, scans, chemotherapy regimens, and two stem cell transplants.