Sunday, July 1, 2018

Collection Day

It's been a while since I mentioned my theories behind me catching myeloma. To recap, I have 4 theories. These are:

1) A year prior to being diagnosed, I had foot surgery to remove a bone spur. The spur had formed decades around a bone infection from a childhood accident. My theory is the spur removal unleashed toxins into my blood stream...leading to a blood cancer. I put the least amount of weight in this theory.
2) Aspartame. I drank a shitload of diet soda and even more Equal. I didn't like the taste of coffee, but I did like the effect. So I loaded up 3 or 4 daily cups of coffee with 7 or 8 Equals per cup. That stuff is bad for you and I lean most heavily on this theory.
3) Exposure to toxic chemicals. Diesel fuel, round up, cleaning fluids. I spent many years of my life in the vicinity of the port...exposing me to lots of chemicals. Dr Phan many years ago, mentioned to me that he sees a lot of oddball cancers from the port area. As the years go by I hear about more and more port employees who have cancer.  I'd say this is theory number 2.
4) Plain old bad luck. Shit happens.

I was reminded of my foot theory the other day. For the past few weeks, my foot has been aching. Nothing like it did before I had the surgery, but achy nonetheless. It also feels like something might be moving around in there. It's in the pad area of the right foot. I went back to the foot doctor who did the surgery this past Friday. He made me nervous when he made a face as he felt around the foot. But x rays showed that the bone is fine and I simply have a couple of new spurs developing. Nothing requiring surgery. Instead for the next couple of weeks I am on a soaking, manipulating, and icing routine, Whew about a trip down memory lane! I have visions of taking up running again. It's doubtful it'll happen, but if I could pull off a 10k in the next year I'd be pretty darn happy. So having a non-problematic foot is key.

Meanwhile, my thumb and finger are recovering nicely from the beetle poison. New skin has formed and no warts. I return to the dermatologist this week and we'll do two more fingers. And speaking of the dermatologist, I had a heck of a rash on my ankles this week. Luckily the dermo was able to squeeze me in for an appointment and we're treating with an anti-fungal. Curses you fucked up immune system.

My myeloma is well under control though. Today I'm doing my 24 hour urine collection to see what my numbers look like. I imagine they'll be fine.

And two shout outs. One is to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Two reasons: They have an insurance co pay assistance program that I've tapped into. I hit my annual limit this month, but it's been a heck of a help. Paying for insurance ain't cheap. And the LLS has a program called First Connection, which connects newly diagnosed blood cancer patients with someone who has had the same cancer for a while. I volunteer a fair amount of time to this program, its really a great thing. My second shout out goes to Janssen, who makes Darzalex. They have a copay assistance program that saves me and other patients a couple of thousand dollars a year.  Cancer drugs are not cheap and this program is a giant help.

Meanwhile, I'm still in  a mental fog. Who am I? What am I? How did I get here? Where am I going? I'm sure we all ask these questions, but for me having a giant question mark hanging over my head makes not knowing these answers particularly frustrating. I'll get there. I better.


  1. Hang in there, Matt. Stay away from beetles.

  2. Personally, I think being in a "mental fog" as you call it, is a good thing. I believe people who question themselves and the world are better people, more interesting folk.
    On the other hand, it probably is my fault; I encouraged questions. I'm still wondering some of that myself.
    And I remember the summer you had the accident. We watched soaps together. Luv.

  3. Strange wavelengths inhabit the air right now. I'd be more upset if someone experienced no mental fog in these times . love ye !


Berenson Oncology Success Rate

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