Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What About My Stuff

Today was day 1 of cycle 11 of my current maintenance regimin. A cycle is roughly one month. The current cycle was preceeded by 8 cycles of treanda/bendsmustine, which was preceeded by 10 cycles of maintenance, preceeded by 12 cycles of my initial foray into treanda after 3 previous drugs had no impact. Well you get the point, that's a lot of chemo.

But I feel good. I'm losing weight and working out harder. I'm coming up on 54 years old and I'd say I'm in good shape even compared to a non-cancer 54year old. Ego and narsicism keep me going. That and American Ninja Warrior, a tv competition show with incredibly fit people.  Say what you will, but the show has motivated me to kick things up a notch.

Re├žently, I've been cleaning out my garage, going through my stuff. I recall a hilarious George Carlin monologue about our "stuff" from the 1970s. Spot on.  Anyhow, I was able to toss or put in the yard sale pile a lot of stuff. However, there some things I can't part with. My stacks of game programs or magazines with the Vikings on the cover or some other game or athlete...from decades ago. I have shot glass and casino chip collections that I can't part with. There are random memory filled nick knacks that I want to keep.

But for what? What do I with them? What happens when I die? Do I specify these things go in my coffin with me? Note: I really need to do a will. One thing I will absolutely specfiy is that my ashes are buried alongside the Mississippi River that bisects the Twin Cities in Minnesota, St Paul and Minneapolis. This is a must.

I mean it though. What do I do with my stuff that I want to hold on to but don't even see on a regular  basis. Do I schedule stuff visits? Don't get me wrong, I plan on being around a long time. But as a myeloma patient, I know that things can change and turn for the worse very very quickly. That mental cloud and the rigors of constant chemo and treatment put myeloma  patients in a precarious state. I know folks who have survived much longer than me and folks who haven't. At 4 plus years, I'm getting to be a surprise old timer. Looking at my condition and numbers from year one, you'd never have thought I would still be here. Some would say I am playing with house money..a gambling reference when a bettor has done so well and set aside enough winnings that going forward the bettor has nothing to lose. It's house money, i.e. the casino's money. It's a great position to be in.

So... What about my stuff? Furthermore, does it matter what I drive or what I wear or what I say? Do I have carte blanche to do whatever I want? Straddling life, death, fatigue, energy, work, home, living is a juggling act.When people ask what I did last night or over the wekkend or what I do in my spare time, I find this hard to answer. Here's what I do. I work, I go home, I do chemo, I see a lot of doctors, I rest, go to the gym and that's it. Spare energy to do anything but these core activities is limited. Not really super fun or a great conversation topic. Leslie suggests I just tell people exactly what I did or plan to do. Perhaps. 

So it's all about my stuff, literally and figuratively.

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