It’s been observed many times that you need 4 things to enjoy a
happy and successful life:
>> Meaningful work.
>> Personal relationships.
>> Good health.
Well, I have several of these things, a lot of the time.
But I just dodged a bullet — in the health department.
Here’s what happened….
After a routine physical, I got a call from Linda in my doctor’s
“Dr. RS says your blood protein levels are a bit high, and he
wants you to see a hematologist.”
I went to the hematologist’s web site … and discovered the words
“hematology and oncology” were both in the name of the practice.
Not exactly encouraging.
So I saw the hematologist, Dr. FB, who said the high blood
protein could mean I have blood cancer — multiple myeloma.
He said he thought there was a 30% chance that I did in fact have
blood cancer, based on blood work.
To determine whether I actually had it, he ordered a battery of
additional blood protein tests … and had me go for a full-body
x-ray of every bone in my body.
Apparently, if you have myeloma, it can weaken your bones.
The results came back. Not negative. Not positive. But
“At this point, I think your risk of having cancer is lower than
I originally believed — I would say down to 20%,” he said.
“But you could still have bone cancer.”
So he did a bone marrow biopsy with a needle through the bone
near the bottom of my spine where it connects to the pelvic bone.
It took a week to get the results.
I was not particularly on edge, but my mother and wife were
becoming frantic (I did not tell my kids).
Finally, a week later, Dr. FB called and immediately said: “Bob,
this is Dr. FB, and you do not have bone cancer” — in a cheery
voice, no preamble, exactly as such news should be delivered.
So for now, I am free and clear.
But it’s a reminder.
Remember that list of the 4 things you need to be happy?
I believe they are nearly equal.
But health is perhaps a little more equal than the others.
KS, a friend who is a cancer survivor, commented when he read the
line above: “I have come to believe exactly the same thing. Health is
the bedrock on which pretty much everything else in life is
When you or your loved ones have health worries or problems, it’s
one of the most difficult things to cope with.
And brings to mind the old saying:
“Every day you wake up above the ground is a good day.”