Thursday, May 31, 2012

5.43

New record low for creatinin....indicating continued improvement of my kidney function.  Still a ways to go, but even a slight improvement means the kidneys are capable of improving. I had acupuncture the other day and we focused on the kidneys.  I also learned that blue represents healthy kidneys, so I've been envisioning blue surrounding those babies and bringing them back to health.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Absolutely nothing to report

Nothing going on. No treatments, no lab work, no nothing this week. Awesome!  I will have to do some lab work this weekend before we leave on our trip, so it'll be ready for Berenson when we return.  Went on 2 mile walk at lunch with a coworker today.  Felt great. And seriously that's it.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Port Revisits Developing Bike, Recreational Path Along Pier J, Queen Mary

Work has been pretty important to me this past year. It's been my bridge to normalcy and has allowed me to interact with friends and coworkers and not think about myeloma. There were a lot of days, where I barely lasted two hours in the office.  Lately though, I'm getting back in the swing of things. I can tell I am more focused and engaged.  This past week I was only out a total of 9 hours, and that's with a couple of chemo treatments thrown into the mix. Not so shabby.  What's also kept me going are the projects I'm working on, that I have real ownership of.  Here's a cool story about one of those projects....

Port Revisits Developing Bike, Recreational Path Along Pier J, Queen Mary

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Judge's Plea for Pot

Interesting article and so true, about the benefits of medicinal marijuana.  A lot of cancer patients use it for fighting nausea and helping with pain and aiding sleep.  Even patients who previously viewed weed as a bad thing, use it to help deal with the symptoms of cancer, chemo, and radiation.

Weeds as an Analogy for Myeloma

Dr Durie is a long time myeloma specialist. We saw him one time leading up to my stem cell collection. His approach is different than Berenson's. And that's the confusing thing when people get sick....you can get multiple opinions. But who knows what is right. Time is the answer.

Anyone I came across this article that discusses myeloma and why it suddenly takes over a body. The comparison is drawn with weeds, which start to run amuck when the ground is disturbed.  Myeloma (or any cancer/disease) also gains power when the body is disturbed. Obviously it's pointless to try and figure out why I got myeloma. I got it and that's that.  But I do have a theory that foot surgery I had to remove a bone spur that was the result of stepping on a rusty nail as a kid, might have something to do with my myeloma.  In my mind, the surgery, almost exactly a year before my diagnosis, unleashed some toxins that had been tucked away safely in the bone spur. The surgery was what disturbed my body. We'll never know, but that's partly my theory.  Anyhow, I found this article interesting and in my own mind, gives some credence to my theory. Click anywhere on this paragraph to read Dr Durie's article. It's an easy read.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Must Control the Brain

One more day of chemo this week and I'll be done with this cycle. This week is easy....no Treanda (the heavy hitter) and no huge dose of benadryl (the make me drunk component). Next week, me and Leslie are taking a vacation. Going to North Carolina to see my dad and stepmom, and going to Columbus, Ohio to see my nephew and his wife. We are super excited. Our first big trip in fricking ages. When we get back, we'll see Berenson and again discuss maintenance versus another cycle. It all depends on if we get more improvement with this latest cycle. For sure, I've been feeling great of late. Almost normal in fact, and that's while doing chemo.

And herein lies the complications of the brain. Let's go thru a list. For one, going onto maintenance is the goal, of course. But the thought of maintenance is also scary, as I have said before. We've got control of the myeloma, but is eliminating the heavy drugs, giving it a chance to rebound? Shit,what cha gonna do? Who knows. I need to constantly remind myself that I can't worry about that. We've got this looking like a chronic thing and I simply need to keep doing all the positive things I've learned. Life is pretty sweet and the thought of myeloma impacting that, can be a downer...to say the least. But as I said, I can't worry about that.

The trick about feeling good, is it makes me want to quickly get back to normalcy. I'm ready to work full time, don't want to miss any more time away from it. Crazy right? Feeling so good makes me block out some of things I still need to do. I still need to work on kidney improvement. But I've been on this crazy diet for a year, and I am so ready for other foods. I want nachos and pizza and slathered bake potatoes and beer. F those kidneys. But my brain needs to slow its roll. Give things a chance. Lately my brain has been reviewing a lot of history. Feeling regret, wanting to apologize to people, and replaying events and decisions is common. But that's absurd. I have to look forward and I'm pretty happy with my life around me. Things have all worked out. Never thought I'd say that 12 months ago. But things have worked out, I'm more confident in myself than ever before. And at this point, I'm not necessarily worried about dying, but I would be bummed if myeloma jacked up my appreciation of life and people. Know what I mean?

It's curious, I've been pretty lucky up to now. I've got a treatment that works and I can tolerate. In the past 12 months I've unfortunately seen folks who are really struggling. It's hard to see but also reminds me of the blessing I've received (whoa...I said blessing). So this week my brain has been throwing a bit of a pity party. Feeling bad for myself. But I got to get control of it. I'm feeling good and worried about getting fat. Silliness, is what that is. Come on Matt, don't do that. Later this week, its the life coach and acupuncture....two important steps in my recovery. And just a note or disclaimer, I'm jacked on steroids right how, so the brain is going a million miles an hour, and I'll likely be up all night. WooHoo! Forgive the rambling.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Relay for Life


Yesterday for a couple of hours, I was in San Pedro for the annual Relay for Life. It's a 24 hour team event aimed at raising money for the American Cancer Society. An old friend, Teresa, and her family had a team. Her family, like so many, has been impacted by cancer. The event opened with a survivor's walk. Really a very cool experience....sad, yet inspiring. I walked a few laps with Teresa. Next year, I plan to be on her team.  Here's to old friends, who have taken on increased importance and meaning.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday

The weeks fly by. It's Thursday. I worked a couple of full days this week. Pretty darn good. We were talking with Dr Phan earlier in the week.  I was staying how great I feel....almost normal.  Although I'm not really sure what my old normal used to be, seems so long ago. But the key is I feel great..way better than this time last year.  Also been working out a bit more.

Tomorrow I'll work half a day, then I'll go to chemo for day 2 of this cycle.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

this week

What's up everybody? Back to chemo this week, had the full menu of drugs.Included in every treatment is a heavy dose of steroids. Usually it impacts my sleep for a night, but this time I also have a minor case of roid rage....fairly irritable and grumpy.


Monday I worked a full day for the first time. Felt great. Tomorrow and Thursday I'll shot to get close to a full day as well. Tomorrow I might be a bit tired, since I know tonight my sleep is going to be jacked up.

Met with Dr Phan yesterday and he is super pleased with my progress and thinks it makes perfectly good sense to do more chemo. It's working real well.

Friday is day two of this cycle.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Exciting News 2

We saw doctor Berenson today. We were expecting to discuss switching to the maintenance phase of treatment. A good thing. But in looking at my labs, we're still seeming some good results from chemo and my body is tolerating it really well.  One thing we measure is bad protein in my urine. This count is now at it lowest point since I was diagnosed. Awesome! So in talking with Dr B and given how great I feel, we're doing another cycle...which I'm happy to do. It means we're going to blast the shiznit out of this myeloma and we are keeping the good stuff moving forward.

Yesterday was an appointment with Debby Downer also known as Dr Zoller, the kidney doctor. My kidneys have stabilized but we still need to see improvement. Knocking the cancer down will do that. Exercise and diet will help. But Zoller asks negative questions and really assumes or expects the worse. Leslie and I went into her office happy and left bummed out. I don't want to get into specifics, but seems like her bedside manner could use an upgrade.  A few months ago we saw a different kidney doctor to get a second opinion. It was someone recommended to us by Berenson. He has experience with myeloma patients with bad kidneys, whereas Doc  Zoller is used to seeing patients who have kidney disease as their primary problem. I think her lack of experience with cancer or more specifically myeloma patients has something to do with her approach with me. She's always been like this. She's definitely a good doctor, my kidneys are hanging in there with her guidance. So I think we'll be going to back to kidney doctor recommended to us by Berenson.

Exciting News Part 1

If you know me, you know I love the Minnesota Vikings. I've only been to Minnesota once, but the Vikings and the state are a bit of an obsession. So the exciting news today is that they're getting a new stadium and not coming to Los Angeles. They belong to Minnesota, as do I.  Click anywhere on this text to read all about it here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A look ahead

Weds...Kidney doctor
Thurs.....Berenson
Friday..Acupuncture
Saturday....Myeloma support group

No shots this week. Both white and red blood cell counts are doing ok. We'll know about other stuff later this week.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Week Ahead

Happy Monday everyone. Actually, I don't like Mondays. Weekends go by so fast. We had a small bbq on Saturday and a couple of friends came over to watch the Mayweather fight. Also went for a bike ride. If that's not normalcy, I don't know what is. Big week this week. Zoller the shot caller kidney doc on Weds. Doing blood work before seeing her. We've been visualzing saying: In your face Zoller, kidneys can improve! Well my kdneys have improved, but now that I haven't had chemo for a week and a half, they should be even better. We'll see on Weds. Doc Berenson is Thursday and we'll dscuss maintenace. Woohoo! I'm feeling pretty darn good and if we just keep me feeling like this, I'll be happy. I did let my self fall in to the trap of thinking about "what ifs" going in to the fuire. Not necessarily a good idea. You start thinking about things that could go wrong and next thing you know, you're bummed out. Note to self: only think about positive things going forward.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dog Man

I received a book, Dog Man, the other day. They mystery is, who sent it. Thanks very much to somebody!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Doc Berenson and some myeloma statistics

Clik here: Interesting reading and kudos to Berenson

Y2 D1

Year 2, Day 1

Last night to commemorate my one year anniversary, Leslie and I went out for a nice dinner at a local fish restaurant. I splurged and had some things I normally can't eat....mashed potatoes, tomatoes, and cheese. Delish! Also did acupuncture yesterday.....really good stuff and definitely helping me.

Today was a work day.I'm not quite working full time, but getting closer. Actually Monday, I worked the whole day.  Also did 40 minutes of exercise on the elliptical machine. 40 minutes I say. Felt pretty darn good and I'm no worse for wear.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy Anniversary?

Today is 1 year. One year since my diagnosis. One year since life changed. I'm celebrating today by going to work and later getting acupuncture. I'm feeling good, on a break from chemo.