The year 2009 was quite eventful. I started a new job, moved to Washington, D.C., got married in May, and got diagnosed with multiple myeloma in September at the age of 60.

I was having pains that I thought were related to riding my bicycle. At my next doctor’s visit, I received a CAT scan.

The moment the doctor walked into the room, I could tell from the look on her face that this wasn’t going to be good. There were lesions down my spinal column, and one of my vertebrae had collapsed.

I was admitted to a hospital and spoke to an oncologist. He said he was pretty confident that I had a disease called multiple myeloma and asked if I knew what it was.