Wednesday, July 9, 2014


My old boss used to use the word "grappling" a lot. It was his way of saying he's wrestling with a decision.  He retired several months ago. Today I was in a meeting with his replacement. I'm a big fan. He used "grappling".  And I thought to myself, that's what I've been doing lately. I'm grappling with what's next. Tomorrow is the last day of this chemo cycle.  Then it's the drill. Full labs next week. Berenson the week after. Then we decide what my treatment looks like going forward. Phan tossed out the M word the other day. Maintenance. But I'm not hanging my hat on that one. A few months back we had such an awesome improvement in numbers from the initial blast of treanda (bendamustine) that I figured maintenance was inevitable.  And maintenance is a piece of cake. Once every two weeks, nothing too ass kicking (other than dex) and it means we've got the myeloma stable and under control.  I think that was Phan's point, I'm stable so let's hold it steady.  And this is why I am so fricking happy this cycle is wrapping up.  The combination of chemo and surgery has absolutely kicked my ass.  Yesterday and today were the first two full work days I've put in, in almost a month. This morning I was beat.  Half a tab of nuvigil did the trick for me. I was enagaged and clear headed. Work serves several purposes. It provides normalcy.  It provides income. I actually really like my job. I enjoy doing what I do. I have ownership, so I hate missing work.  Recently I got a nice raise and promotion.  Pretty nice. It's that much sweeter knowing that I accomplished these things while dealing with myeloma and dealing with life.  But, and I think this is the big challenge, when I/we feel bad it makes it hard to see how I can keep things going.  A couple of times this past month I've thought that holy shit, I can't do this. Now that I'm recuperating, I'm feeling positive again, like this is sustainable.  Friday is a scheduled day off from work.  My first truly free Friday in a while. I plan to get a light workout in. It'll be my first workout in a month. It'll help make everything seem better.  The new Planets of the Apes movie? You know I'm all over that.

Despite feeling better, I realized I sure better get my ducks in a row, in case I can't work. I've been a bit lax on that.  I suppose part of it is that I always assumed I would kick this myeloma's ass, so why plan.The mother of one of Leslie's best friends passed away last week. The funeral was this past Monday. It was acutally a beautiful and touching service.  The woman who passed away, who I knew, was this amazing positive and caring and giving person.  It got me thinking about my mark in this world and how I'd be remembered. And here's more grappling.  I think there are things for me to do.  There are people and places that I need to connect or reconnect with.  But it's tough, just juggling regular life stuff with my health, and I'm left unsure on how I can accomplish certains things. Time, energy, money all come in to play.  Plus, and I'll use this word again, I'm not sure how I'm doing things is sustainable. I'm starting to feel pretty normal again but what if I feel bad? How many times can I pull myself back up? And, perhaps I'm being greedy, just having a routine isn't enough for me. So what, I'm in my routine? But I need to mix it up. Shake up the routine while maintaining normalcy.  How's that happen? Heck if I know.

Don't get me wrong, I'm super happy with how I'm doing. 3 years and 2 months since diagnosis and I'm still thriving.  I don't want to be caught off guard though, so I've got a bit more grappling to do with what happens going forward. I debated about even writing this post.  It's pointless in a way, other than allowing me to vent, spill my thoughts.  But myeloma wise, there really isn't much to say.  That's a good thing.

1 comment:

  1. Grappling is a good thing. It means you are feeling better and thinking and planning and wondering.
    I'm all for grappling.


Berenson Oncology Success Rate

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