Sunday, August 24, 2014

Keep Chopping Wood

Jack Del Rio is defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. He played linebacker for a few years with the Minnesota Vikings.  He was also head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars back in the early 2000s.  In 2003, he was coaching the Jaguars and came up with the team motto "keep chopping wood"  It meant to keep fighting, keep whittling away at the obstacles in front of you.  He even kept a wood stump and ax in the locker room, and players would take a swing at the stump.  This practice ended when his punter seriously wounded himself, missing the wood and hitting his own leg.

Keep chopping wood were the words in my head after my latest Berenson visit. All is good. I'm feeling great. Numbers look good. Recall, I switched labs this month because the previous lab kept messing up my stuff.  Well, the new lab ran all the tests, but didn't show the results in a way that made a whole lot of sense. Even Dr. B had problems figuring it out. We were able to glean that I'm good.  Dr B gave me the option of going back to maintenance.  But he recommended I do another cycle of treanda. I handle it well and it's still working. And that's the trick with myeloma, get every last bit of benefit of a treatment. My kidneys are much better, but still require mindfulness. So Dr B, wants to beat that myeloma down more so my kidneys can continue to not feel the wrath of the myeloma protein.  Makes sense to me. So the next two weeks, we do another cycle. Tuesday, Friday, Tuesday, Friday.  In other words we Keep Chopping Wood.

A new little twist at Dr B's is that he tested my iron. I'm super low, which might explain why I've been tired and why my blood counts are staying relatively low.  Supplements, he said, wouldn't do the trick. I get Procrit shots that bring me blood count up. But iron remains low. So we did this infusion of an iron boosting goop. Ferahim or something like that.  Never heard of it. It was a giant syringe with a thick, dark liquid substance. It is infused, so thank goodness I have a port for that.  I got one last Friday and I go back this coming Friday for a second one. He said this ought to do the trick.  Keep Chopping Wood.

For all my LA people, there's a fundraiser on Friday Sept 5 at a bar called the Surly Goat in West Hollywood in partnership with Reunion Ale and Schmaltz Brewing, to raise funds for the Institute of Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research, Berenson's non profit.  I'll provide more information as I get it.  They just did one in Colorado and will do a few more in other cities. Beer and raising funds for myeloma research. Two thumbs up to that.  I plan to be there.  Note I'll be jacked on dex, given it's a treatment day. Keep Chopping Wood.

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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.