Thursday, March 7, 2013

Keeping On Keeping On

Recently, I've become friends with a fellow myeloma patient.  He's on the east coast and contacted me through this blog. Obviously I'm on the west coast, but through email and Twitter, we stay in fairly constant contact.  I've mentioned before the power of Twitter and how's it become this amazing support network.   Anyhow, this fellow survivor..let's call him Brad (since Brad is his name)....was in my area this week.  Well, we couldn't let the opportunity pass to meet face to face. Brad was diagnosed pretty recently, in late 2012.  So last night we met and chatted for about an hour. He's got a hell of a great attitude and I left feeling re-energized and re-motivated.  His attitude is awesome.  What's interesting, is that many of his fears and concerns and thoughts are so similar to where I was at the same point in my diagnosis, and even are the same as where I get bogged down in currently.  Our reactions to our diagnosis are quite similar.  I think there's this unspoken kinship and link between us myeloma/cancer patients.  Myeloma is a tricky cancer. Even in remission, it's always lurking in the background. Managing that lurking beast is tricky, and having positive support from others with the same experience is a massive help.

Now...I'm not much of a joiner. I tried a support group last year and it just wasn't for me. It was a bitch session. I don't need that. I can do sufficient bitching all on my own.  Early on in my journey, I wasn't interested in talking with others about their experience with myeloma. I just wanted to be left alone. I wanted to stew in my own bitter juices.  I'm past that now. I see the power in the numbers. Not any number, but significant, meaningful numbers.

On March 20, I am hosting a panel discussion on working with myeloma. I'll post the flyer for the event soon.  But from what I hear, questions are already flowing in for the panel.  Balancing taking care of our health with staying engaged and needing to be employed and insured, is a real trick. I'm hoping the panel can shed some light on that rarely discussed topic. It's a fricking challenge.  

Things continue to be good. I'm on an off week from chemo, so I'm feeling particularly good.  Tomorrow is a day off from work and I'm looking forward to getting to the gym and continuing my get in shape program. I'm done to 194 pounds. Down from my high of 212 this past summer.

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Berenson Oncology Success Rate

 Some reading about my myeloma specialist's success rate. A press release and an article from Targeted Oncology.