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October 26, 2021
Clay – Multiple Myeloma Warrior
by admin
Clay – Multiple Myeloma Warrior

Clay was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma cancer in October of 2015 and is working hard on defining his life in terms of how he wants to live it and the legacy that he will leave.

“Unlike some cancer stories there is thankfully only a beginning and middle to mine, the ending is a work in progress and one that I enjoy figuring out one day at a time. I was thriving in Northern Colorado in a community I had lived in since high school. I married the love of my life at the ripe age of 21 and had two children by the time I was in my early 30’s.

I had been getting kidney stones since I was about 25 years old, usually one or two every other year but in 2013-2014 I was having pain and the CT scan showed 18 stones varying in size from 4mm to 10mm. I must have had three or four different surgeries in that year and was getting frustrated about why there were so many when I had been able to manage without major surgery all of the prior years. My wife Raechel was really the impetus behind our search for answers because she was the one who had to haul me to the doctor or the ER every time one of these stones flared up.

By September of 2015, I was still creating new stones and had not found answers that really explained why. In October 2015, I woke up one morning feeling really nauseous, not really the same as what the kidney stones caused, so I decided to go to the hospital. While the ER doctors weren’t sure why I as so sick they decided to admit me, primarily because I couldn’t keep anything down and wasn’t really in any shape to deal with this at home. About 3 days before I had gone to my PCP and gotten a blood test for a variety of things (and apparently something was wrong because he was frantically trying to call me), not knowing that I was in the hospital. Multiple Myeloma was the diagnosis and oddly it wasn’t one of the things that you commonly see or hear about where the doctor sits across the desk and tells you that you have cancer. I was so doped up and out of it that my wife was forced to bear the brunt of this mostly alone. I do remember her asking me about telling the kids and I told her I wanted to tell them, but I couldn’t do it while I was in such poor shape. My son had just started college and my daughter was a sophomore in high school, I was 48 years old. Brutal for a close family to have the rug ripped out from under them but ripped out it was.

The next 2 years was a series of chemo, radiation and various other treatments and procedures. Not to minimize it but it really was a blur of hospital stays, doctors’ visits and various things that you would really rather forget, fortunately my chemo induced brain fog made that very easy.

Today I am doing well while still in active monthly maintenance infusions and weekly chemo but I am also finding ways to give back to the people and organizations that have helped me survive and really change my life for the better. Oddly, I often say that I am a better person because of cancer as many of the things and people in my life would not have happened were it not for my diagnosis. I wouldn’t wish it upon me or anyone else, but I am also grateful because of the numerous blessings that have occurred in my life over the past 5 years. I really owe a debt of gratitude that I will never be able to repay to my wife, kids, family and friends that helped me on this journey. I am working hard on defining my life in terms of how I want to live it and the legacy that I will leave. I am an open book and always available for questions or comments so if I can be helpful please feel free to reach out.”