Before my diagnosis, I thought I wanted to have a master’s degree in network or information security. I took a few semesters off and decided to sign up for a few courses for fall semester. The more I think about it, the less I want to do it. Instead, I want to get into a history program somewhere. I’ve always loved history. I took tons of history courses as an undergraduate and loved them all. It’s not going to help me earn more money, like the security degree would. It’s just going to be something I’m really going to enjoy.
My MM specialist told me that he thought I’d be one of the ones that makes it beyond 5 years – maybe 7 to 10 years. When I told my local oncologist about that, he said he thinks that’s stretching it. I have no idea how long I have. Nobody does. If I do only have 7 years to live, then I should start doing some of the things I want to do, and stop worrying about how much money I’ll make, right?
Like most other people, I do have to worry about money though. I still have to keep up with my expenses. Oh, and the expenses are even greater when you have a disease like MM. Even though I have insurance, I have many more co-pays than I ever did before. Seeing a doctor a few times a month and Coumadin clinic every week or so adds up. I rarely had prescriptions to pay for before. Now I have the drugs for my disease and a few new ones to help with the problems the drugs cause!
When I was younger, I struggled and worked long hours just to survive. If your life was anything like mine, you know what it’s like to have to choose between eating and doing laundry sometimes. That was a long time ago. I’m better off now, thank goodness. I can make some choices about how I spend my time. I don’t have to put in long hours anymore. I have a family business and a very supportive family. I’ve taken practically the entire last 6 months off, and I think it’s helped me in a few ways. I hadn’t had a real vacation in the last 6 years, so I’m making up for it now.
Anyway, I’m not going to worry about my future earning power so much. I’m going to learn about something I love, rather than something that will be good for business.