Sunday, June 23, 2013

What's Next?

June is winding down. Next up is July. July 2 is my 26 month cancerversary.  We're cruising along. It's all good.  My numbers are holding steady. Maintenance chemo is doing the trick. I'm getting in tip top shape to keep this fight going.  Lately, I've been trying to not get too into the mental aspect of all this. I got real tired of hearing myself. It was becoming blah, blah, blah. 

On the conference call the other day, the topic was stress.  We strayed from the main topic several times, but it was still a great conversation. What's interesting is that I was viewing stress as what hits us from the world around us.  But what I was reminded of during the call, is that just having myeloma alone can be stressful.  It's a bit of a mystery. I exchanged emails recently with a fellow myeloma patient.  We're both doing well. But we both also know that others aren't so fortunate.  We both mentioned Don Baylor's attitude. Looking forward. Power through. Work out when tired. Don't put limits on yourself. All great stuff.  But what about those who are struggling? Are they any less tough or focused? Of course not. Sometimes, I feel a bit guilty for celebrating how well I am doing. At chemo the other day, I basically did work and joked around with the nurses for 3 hours. That is not how I imagined chemo being.  Two years ago, I felt horrible during chemo. It seems surreal now. But I'd sit in chemo, under a blanket, sleeping, crying, nauseous, wondering how this happened. Hospital stays seems a lifetime ago. That's good right?

I'm past the worry. Instead I find myself debating if I should do a 60 mile bike ride in Vegas in September. It's going to be hot, as Leslie points out.  Maybe not the best thing for me to do. But part of me really wants to do it. It's a challenge. It's another push towards normalcy.  It's another step towards kicking ass.  But I think it's also mental trick I play with myself. Nothing is wrong with me. I can do whatever. Whatever happens, happens. It's also gravy at this point.

But the irony is that as I put more distance between today and May 2, 2011, I find I get caught up in the usual rat race things. I need to make more money. I want a swimming pool. Should I get a new car. I want to have fun. Does this make any sense? I still spend too much time thinking about the past. Too much time wondering what if. Replaying things I've done. How did I get here? I tell myself that the only reason I'm doing as well as I am doing is because of my past and because of what I've done.   Over the past couple of years, I've tried a few times to reach out to people from my past. To no avail. The past is the past. The future is the future. You can't go home again.   So what's next? Whatever is next is ahead of me. I'll take suggestions.

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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.