After nearly a year in and out of the hospital, Jamie Bryant is beginning to return to “normal” life.
Bryant returned to his role as assistant coach for the Adair County football team last week for the team’s spring scrimmage.
“It was fun to get back to doing something and forgetting about things for awhile,” Bryant said.
Bryant still had to take precautions, wearing gloves and watching what he comes into contact with. Bryant says he plans to return to teaching at Adair County High School in the fall, but he has to be careful when being in close-contact environments for now.
Bryant has multiple myeloma, blood cancer that makes it difficult for the body to recognize and fight off germs, according to the Mayo Clinic. It also causes bone pain and fragility.
Bryant first began experiencing symptoms in February 2014. At one point, Bryant recalls, he had nine cracked ribs.
Bryant has been able to get back to preaching at his church, Purdy Separate Baptist Church.
Since being diagnosed in mid-July of last year, Bryant has been back and forth between Columbia and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Ark.– a world leader in the treatment of multiple myeloma, spending weeks at a time there.
Bryant hopes to use his illness as a way to help people.
“I would love to encourage everyone to get a blood test once a year,” he said.
Bryant added, “If I can help at least one person through my struggle to get closer to the Lord, it’s worth it.”
Bryant still has one more round of chemotherapy at the University of Arkansas and three more years of maintenance treatments, but he believes he will be back to normal life soon.
By Noah Richard