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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bigger than me

Today I went downtown to Morehouse School of Medicine to participate in a research study on multiple myeloma. (You remember that’s one of the things I’ve been diagnosed with, right?) I read through the materials regarding the study and was even more pleased that I chose to participate. In layman’s terms: The study is looking into the genetics of those who carry the whatchamacallit (yup, that’s the medical term) that causes multiple myeloma, which – per Wikipedia - is defined as:

“Multiple myeloma (from Greek myelo-, bone marrow), also known as plasma cell myeloma or Kahler's disease (after Otto Kahler), is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell normally responsible for the production of antibodies.[1] Collections of abnormal cells accumulate in bones, where they cause bone lesions, and in the bone marrow where they interfere with the production of normal blood cells. Most cases of myeloma also feature the production of a paraprotein, an abnormal antibody that can cause kidney problems and interferes with the production of normal antibodies leading to immunodeficiency.”

(I left the links to the various terms so you can get more info if you like.)

It took about an hour and 15 minutes to answer a bunch of questions and give blood. Piece of cake. And it even gave me the pleasure of knowing that I can remember almost every address, entirely, from the time I was a toddler ‘til now, but I can’t remember how long I’ve been taking some of the medicines that I take everyday. At least my long-term memory is intact, right?

I wanted to participate because it’s something I deal with and because if my dealing with it can help those in the medical field discover a cause, a cure and a better treatment just by me answering a few questions and giving some blood then I’m all for it. (Here’s a link to the last post I wrote about  my health.)

This study is so much bigger than me. Do you know what I mean? … My experiences and participation have the potential of helping others.  Now that’s priceless.

What experiences do you think are priceless?

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