Spotlight on Kevin Jacobs: Above all, don't give up!

June 2024

Kevin Jacobs

Good day everyone. My name is Kevin Jacobs.

My journey with multiple myeloma began when I was diagnosed in March 2023. I was 53 years of age and up until then my life was full.

Married, 2 grown up children, a long and active career in law enforcement, firstly in England and now in Ottawa, Canada. I was a sporty person and played rugby well into my early 40’s. I was a football coach, active in my children’s lives and enjoyed many vacations with my very understanding wife!

March 2023 changed my life forever. Came back from a vacation in the Dominican Republic and noticed a lump on the top of my head. My wife, the ever-curious nurse, poked and prodded it and thought I should see a doctor. I did.

After several tests and scans I got a phone call from my family doctor at 8pm one night. I knew it wasn’t going to be good news. No family doctor calls that late!

Words that will live with me forever, “You’ve got cancer”. 

Those words are still raw to this day.

There were tears, lots of tears and a myriad of questions

which no-one could answer.

Thankfully with my wife’s support and calming guidance, and a good family doctor, my first appointment with the oncologist, Dr Visram, came quickly. 

My first questions were “How?”, “Why?”.

I had never heard of multiple myeloma. No one in my family had anything like cancer. The good doctor told me there were no answers to those questions and this disease is not curable, but treatable.

Part of the pain of dealing with the diagnosis was I wanted to wait until I knew what the treatment plan was, and lets face it, have an idea how long I was going to be around.

The family.

Both my grown up children were away chasing their dreams. My 22 year old daughter was living in Toronto finding her way in a career as a film/TV make-up artist. My 18 year old son was finishing his last year in prep school in Maryland chasing his college football dreams.

My wife and I decided to drive to both places and tell them both personally. It was possibly the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

It was hilarious, after all the tears and the dust had settled, both of them initially thought we were there to say one of the cats had died! Children are weird. Maybe my delivery needed to be worked on!

On to Phase 1: Full diagnosis and treatment plan from March to August 2023. I had a couple of lytic lesions in my skull. I may have caught this early?? Medications, scans, bloodwork, infusions, bone marrow biopsy.

To be honest, I was handling it quite well. I was getting the feeling there was light at the end of the tunnel.

I was still working about 80% of the time, using some sick time as there were some days I was just so tired. And for some reason, Dexamethasone had limited to no effect for me. I wanted to be an Energizer bunny for a little while!

June 2023: Start of hospital treatments with my angel

Sept 2023: Stem cell procedure. 8 hours of

laying in a bed. Not really enjoyable.

Phase 2 was a different animal but the good doctors told me this was going to happen, and get ready for it. Stem cell transplant and chemotherapy.

September, October and November 2023 were months to forget. So sick. Couldn’t face a glass of water, let alone eat. Weeks of daily visits to the hospital for bloodwork and various bags of IV fluids. Had to be hospitalized for a few days.

The good doctors told me I would get better, but it would be slow progress. 

My wife was an angel, my rock.

I had a good support team. Friends, family and co-workers

did what they could and gave me messages of support. 

It was the end of 2023 when I started to genuinely feel better. My body was still immune-compromised and therefore I couldn’t really be around people. My progress continued to get better.

The stem cell procedure was successful.

All my blood numbers were good. I was starting to run out of chores at home and the “honey-do” list was getting shorter and shorter!

Now there was a new battle, a mental battle.

My good doctor, Dr Visram, told me that I had to stop crying at every appointment! (Caveat: Since Day 1, Dr Visram and I had a clear understanding. I told her to ALWAYS give me a “no BS” assessment in our relationship. Don’t sugar coat anything). Some therapy was needed.

I was always the rock, stoic, strong, the glue, and “the guy”.

I didn’t like my new role. Weaker, vulnerable, tired, recovering.

And, there was another glitch in the armour: A fear of dying.

My dad always told me the Jacobs' genes were good. Family was living long lives. Even though my prognosis was good, words and phrases like “likely relapse”, “a few years”, “lifelong medications” and “lifelong hospital visits” hit me hard.

With all that to say, it's now June 2024.

The first few months of 2024 I made time to recover, get active again, work out and refocus. As anyone knows, those winters in Ottawa can be harsh. I got back to socializing again. Watching my beloved Buffalo Bills and planning to return to work.

I had spent nearly 8 of my 24 years in the Ottawa Police Homicide Unit before my diagnosis. That was an environment I could not return to. Physically and mentally, I couldn’t take the strain of working murder cases anymore.

In April, I returned to work and was fortunate to continue detective work in the west end of Ottawa dealing with more routine case. And, I passed the Sergeant exam, something I had been wanting to do for years.

What's in store for me now? Well my myeloma is “dormant”. Physically I am about 85% of what I was before diagnosis.

I understand this is a lifelong battle now and I have accepted it, mostly. I cry less which I think is a good thing.

I have already shed enough tears.

This is a life changing disease. I wake up each day. I still enjoy my work, I enjoy my family time and I could never thank my wife enough for being by

my side. (Love ya babes). I am back being a Football Coach in Ottawa, playing golf, gently working out, taking out the plans for building a deck on our house, planning “guys trips” to watch the mighty Buffalo Bills and Syracuse Orangemen, bought seasons tickets with family and friends to watch my son play football at Queens, and my daughter has moved home to reset her life and “spend time with her pappa”. 

I am also volunteering with Myeloma Canada. I wanted to continue my healing

by being with people who have suffered, helped, assisted and are recovering. I also wanted to give back out of respect for those that have helped me along my journey. Next stop: The Grand Rappel in Toronto in July. Hope to see you there.

Needless to say my heart is full again. 

And of course I got a tattoo……..!

I have discovered that everyone’s cancer journey is different, sometimes wildly different.

What choice is there but to keep moving forward. Surround yourself with love, support, help and guidance.

Above all, don’t give up. 


April 2024: I got a tattoo! Why not? Words to live by.

Editor’s note:

We hope you enjoy meeting our Spotlight Stars and your fellow Myeloma Canada community members. The Spotlight section of Myeloma Matters features stories and reflections supplied by members of our community - those living with myeloma, caregivers, healthcare professional - in their words. The views expressed and shared are those of that individual. We recognize that everyone’s journey and experience with myeloma is different.


To all of you who have shared your stories in the past, and those of you who continue to do so today, we are are an inspiration.  

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