Following a Thursday afternoon meeting, an attempt to stand proved futile as my legs refused to cooperate. The simple act of rising from a chair seemed impossible, as every muscle in my lower body had become inexplicably rigid. I sat in the room as everyone signed off Microsoft Teams and pretended to fiddle with my phone.

Living with multiple myeloma presents many challenges that are not immediately visible to the naked eye. Living with Multiple Myeloma means grappling with the uncertainty of how the disease will manifest itself. One of the less-discussed consequences of this condition is the potential impairment of muscle function. These symptoms can significantly impact daily activities and overall quality of life, from sudden weakness and stiffness to decreased range of motion.

There must be a personal choreographer who insists on adding extra rigidity to your every move. (At least, I like to believe such a choreographer exists). Forget about dancing like Fred Astaire; with Kappa Light Chain Deposition Disease, busting out moves isn’t happening. During such periods, my muscles have taken up a new hobby of being David. Ok, not actually like the statue of David. Ok, different from anyone named David. Let’s call it ‘statues.’ The process does leave one to marvel at their newfound dedication to paperweights: You’re heavy and staying put. Who needs a workout when your muscles provide a taste of what being a human statue in a park is like? ‘Just make sure to strike a pose,’ I thought. “I’m fierce, fabulous, and slightly stuck.”

Amyloidosis (light chain deposition), a potential complication of myeloma, can cause peripheral neuropathy. More than likely, peripheral neuropathy occurs when nerves outside the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves) are damaged. This condition often causes weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet. In my case, my hands, feet, and legs all experience the impact. And Thursday, I could not stand. The process can challenge one’s faith.

Amid the daunting battle against cancer, faith can be a guiding light, illuminating the path with hope, strength, and resilience. Faith has become my steadfast companion, providing solace and comfort during the darkest moments. For many cancer patients, faith encompasses different forms, whether rooted in religious beliefs, spirituality, or a profound trust in the power of the human spirit. It offers a source of courage and determination, enabling individuals to face challenges with unwavering resolve. One can transcend fear and doubt through faith and find meaning amid adversity. It instills a sense of purpose, reminding us that we are not alone. It connects us to a larger, supportive community, be it family, friends, or a faith-based network, providing love, encouragement, and prayers. Faith empowers us to embrace each day with gratitude, to find strength in the face of uncertainty, and to cherish precious moments, knowing that even during the storm, there is a beacon of hope guiding us forward.

After reading several chapters of Anthony de Mellow’s book, I wrote the following in my journal.

“Amidst the turbulent tides of adversity, true faith reveals its essence. It is not a mere set of beliefs to cling to but a transformative force that invites us to surrender our attachments and open our hearts to the unfolding mystery of life. Faith does not promise a life free from hardship but rather a profound trust in the divine wisdom that weaves through every experience. Faith finds its greatest opportunity to shine in the crucible of adversity, beckoning us to embrace the present moment with unwavering acceptance and unwavering love. As we let go of resistance and surrender, we discover the profound strength and resilience that lie within us. In the depths of adversity, faith becomes our guiding light, reminding us that every challenge is an invitation to grow, awaken, and find the eternal within the impermanent. Embrace faith, for it is in the crucible of adversity that true transformation awaits.”

I may one day become a statue, but I will be a statue of faith.