When the new normal is far from normal. Jason Oxenham on combatting cancer

This article was originally published on NZ Herald.co.nz

Do you know why you’re here? I thought I did until I was asked. I’m in a small, windowless brick room at Auckland Hospital. This starter for 10 was delivered by a man who was to become my clinical haematologist. Until that morning I had no idea what a haematologist even was. I’d assumed the extreme fatigue over the past year was my lack of fitness or the 50th birthday I had tried very hard to ignore. It seems I was terribly anaemic.
Yes, I’m here for a couple of bags of your finest blood. After the blood transfusion, I expected a lecture to eat more spinach, exercise more. No.
Instead, tests suggest a strong likelihood of multiple myeloma. My wife Kristy is here. I told her I was just getting a blood transfusion, she didn’t need to attend. But she insisted and I have never been so glad she ignored me. Myeloma is a form of blood cancer, not curable, but treatable. Myeloma accounts for only 1.6 per cent of cancer diagnosis in New Zealand.

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