Friday, February 7, 2014

A Solitary Pursuit

There are team sports, where all players are important and must work together while on the field. The Seahawks victory in the recent Super Bowl was a perfect example of a team being synced up. Then there are sports where the individual is alone on the field or court. Yes, there is a team behind the player. Coaches, sports psychologists, family, friends, support.  But when it comes time to compete, it's the individual who has to put into action all the lessons.  Tennis is very much like this. The player is all alone on the court. Strategizing, hustling, visualizing. All the things necessary for victory.

Get where I'm going here?  Today is an off day from work. So I'm using it as a myeloma tune up day. Gym, walk Gracie, acupuncture, relax with Leslie and therapy.  All these things are vital to me succeeding in this fight with myeloma.  It's a team effort.  I'm not alone.  But.... when it comes to putting all this into action and managing everything, it's me. I'm alone on the court. I'm the Andre Agassi of cancer fighters.  I can't speak for other cancer patients and other myeloma patients, but this is how I feel today.

Myeloma keeps going. Treatment continues for an indefinite or never ending period of time. During acupuncture, I use the 30 minutes to visualize my body healing. I imagine bones strengthening. I picture scar tissue in my kidneys being smoothed out. I listen to my breath.  I'm not saying I don't need other people. But when I'm doing certain things and managing the disease, it's up to me to keep my mind and body right. No one is going to do that for me. It's basically a full time job.

One of the things I talk to the therapist about is that lately I question why I need to do anything other than fight myeloma and enjoy life. Why must I work? Why must I sit in endless meetings?  Why do I have to deal with car problems? Why can't I wake up when I want to? Why can't I escape whenever I want?  Not sure I am making sense.  I'm frustrated with myself. My life is pretty routine, It's not much different than it was before my diagnosis. And I guess that's good. But it's also not good. Shouldn't I have drastic life changes after I've had a life changing event?  I've taken my previous life and added a full time job of managing myeloma.  I'm not whining and not complaining. Hey, I'm still alive and feel great. But wow the self directed irritation is annoying. But I'm working on it. It's part of today's myeloma tune up.

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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.