Saturday, January 4, 2014

Matt's Update a Hodge Podge of Stuff

You might be wondering "hey Matt, how are you doing?"

Short answer is good. Everything is stable. But let's take a little closer look at what's going on.

  • This past Thursday was day one of either cycle 20 or 21 of maintenance chemo.  We've got differing counts.  Either way, 20 or 21 is a lot. It was my first chemo of the new year. Welcome to 2014.  Dr Phan was happy with my latest myeloma labs.  This weekend is my dex crash. Gonna be tired and grouchy and perhaps depressed for the next two days. But by Monday afternoon, I'll be good to go.
  • Also had a procrit shot on Thursday. That's to help my blood count. I hadn't had a shot in a month or so. But my hemoglobin dropped a little bit below the threshold of what's acceptable. So procrit time. No big deal. Remember a couple of years ago, my blood count was usually super low and I was getting transfusions all the time. I've had well over 20.  No transfusions in a long ass time. Knock on wood.
  • I did talk to Phan about my mental state. I'm doing pretty good mentally, but I have my moments where I feel a bit overwhelmed about walking around with an incurable cancer. Phan recommended a therapist to go see to discuss things.  This therapist had been a oncologist in a previous career, so he ought to be familiar with the challenges facing cancer patients.
  • Needed a new starter in my car this week. Frustrating. Annoying. But it got me thinking if it was time to get a new/used car. I've got no car payments, so do I want to start making payments? Not really. But I also had a curious thought. Let's say I got a 6 year loan on a new car. Would I outlive the loan? Probably, but hard to say. And should such a thought even enter my mindset? Probably not.
  • May 2, 2014 will be the third anniversary since my diagnosis. That is pretty darn good. I am kicking ass. I want to do something memorable and challenging to commemorate the cancerversary. Last year we did the Big Climb in Seattle and raised funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) .  This year I want to raise funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF).  There is a half marathon in Santa Barbara on May 10 that I am pondering. Not sure I'd be able to run the whole thing. But if I start training ought to be in good enough shape to do the half marathon.  But what else can I do? Parachute from a plane? Or I can create my own event. I can do my own thing and make it a fund raising event for the MMRF.  Any thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? I need to decide soon, but am open to suggestions.
  • On February 26 I am hosting a Cure Talk discussion. The topic will be fund raising. The panel will include Brad, who we know. He created a Bradstrong golf tournament last year that raised a whole bunch of money for the MMRF. Also on the panel will be Kendra, a triathlete who competes to honor her Dad who has myeloma and to raise funds and awareness to fight the cancer. And lastly, we'll have Wilma who works for the LLS in Washington and coordinates the Big Climb, among other events. I think this mix of panelists will be real useful for folks who are wondering how they can contribute to myeloma awareness, research, and support. I'll keep everyone posted as we get closer to Feb 26.
And that's it. Like I said, I'm good. Working out regularly. Working full time. Oh I didn't get the mobility coordinator job that I interviewed for in December. Disappointing. And a huge mistake by the city, I am super confident that I was the best person for the job. But who knows what happens behind closed doors when political decisions are made. The City Manager made the final decision and part of me thinks that perhaps my run in with human resources last year played a part in the decision. Paranoid? Perhaps. Oh well, we're on to other great things this year. I have no doubt about that.

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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.