“cherie-dr-orlowski

Did you know that AIDS research still gets $270 million of funding every year, even though it no longer is a deadly disease? Multiple myeloma only gets $57 million. Makes you wonder if this cancer that still takes so many lives and grows every year with younger people being diagnosed would have a CURE if we too, could get $270 million. People finally started caring about AIDS when they realized it could affect them also. Well, myeloma is becoming a much more common cancer, and if we would have a more powerful voice, people like me and many other myeloma friends, would not have to die anymore!

My daughter does not want to lose me, and I don't want to be lost. Following is the letter I posted on Facebook for my friends and fans. I am desperate to spread awareness regarding the reality of this horrible cancer.

Yesterday, I saw my oncologist. As many of you know, I have been dealing with a lot of new bone issues that result in a lot of pain. It seems that I crack ribs just by bending slightly, turning wrong, or stepping off the sidewalk (all three happened in the past two months). Obviously, that has made me more on edge and feeling a bit discouraged as my medical team’s bag of tricks is all but empty. It seems my only hope is a trial that is not taking place at MD Anderson, thus requiring me to travel out of state. This is a very hopeful trial with a long waiting list, and I have no guarantee of being accepted, since it depends on my health status and immune numbers which have been very low for a long time.

Needless to say, there were some tears. I have fought the good fight for nearly five years now. I have so much to fight for. But after seeing many of my fellow myeloma warriors succumb to this fight, I also know I do not want to fight needlessly.  All that can be done is throw more and more chemo at me, which will ultimately kill me just as the cancer would. Chemo sucks! Cancer sucks! If nothing can be done, I don’t want to do both.

Death is not something I fear. I have two fears: the fear of my daughter watching me suffer needlessly, slowly withering away a painful death, and I fear that pain—a bone pain so severe that even the strongest opioids can’t make me comfortable. This already happened to me at the start of my journey where the slightest movement had me wincing at a 10/10. I fear being comatose, incapable of showing those around me that I am suffering. This happened to me when I was on a fentanyl patch that made me incredibly sick, with blinding pain behind my eyes. The pain forced me to lay quietly, unable to show my husband how much I hurt. I don’t want that to be my last days here on Earth.

“cherie-treatment

Personally, I feel it inhumane that we allow our loved ones to suffer needlessly in the end, because religious dogma has taught us that to kill under any circumstances is a sin. We love our pets enough to allow them a dignified end. My heart, lungs, kidneys and liver are incredibly strong. This has helped me handle the treatments very well, yet, it also means that if nothing can be done, it will take a long time for my body to shut down, which means I will feel many more fractures and broken bones. I told Dr. O that I will do everything to get into the trial, and I hope that this will be the one that will finally get and keep me in remission. At the same time, I am a realist, and I know that this does not happen to all who have gone through this. Complications can arise that have killed some patients. Some don’t see remission; others have already come out of it.

I started my second book, “A Pilgrimage Toward Health” a while back. I have not been inspired to write in these past couple of months, but I have every intention on finishing the book if, and hopefully when, the trial is successful. I am an optimist, but I am also a realist. Cancer has taught me so many things, many of them very good. It has allowed me to take on Love and Life like never before. It has also shown me that no matter how hard I prayed, no matter how healthy I ate, no matter how positive I thought and believed, no matter how many prayed for me, sometimes it just isn’t enough. This has nothing to do with a lack of faith as some have suggested. It has nothing to do with not thinking positive enough like some have told me.  And it has nothing to do with not eating clean enough, or taking the “right” supplements, or drinking a cabbage concoction like some insist. It just is.

“cherie-daughter”

I know I have been an inspiration to many in the way I have fought this. This is the other side of it. This is understanding the reality of the fact that I may not survive this. It is okay to acknowledge this. I don’t feel the need to live in an “optimist bubble” denying this possibility. I need to be able to say this without people telling me it is not going to happen. Saying it won’t change the outcome one way or the other. I know that now! It actually allows me to be present even more fully. To Love even more deeply. Death happens to all of us. It binds us in a way nothing else does. We do not need to feel alone in that. We can help each other by simply Loving one another through it.

Hope and love,

Cherie Rineker
Author ~ A Pilgrimage Without End, How Cancer Healed My Broken Heart ~
979-248-7306

To purchase a signed copy, visithttp://www.cherierineker.com 
Also available on Amazon and in Kindle