Friday, March 20, 2020

Notes from Lockdown 2020

Well, well, well. Here we are. I've been living with the uncertainly of having an incurable cancer for almost 9 years. Every month I do my labs, typically on a Monday. Then I wait a few days, with baited breath, for my results. I've gotten used to this. Once a month I do my infusion at Dr Phan's office. For 21 days out of each month, I take an oral chemo at home. I've gotten used to being much more careful in terms of exposure to germs. My immune system isn't horrible, but it's also not that great. Leslie keeps me honest and safe.

But the implications of the coronavirus and the precautions we have to take, translate to anxiety and stress that exceeds my myeloma-induced pacing around. California is now on lock down. Belief it or not, with myeloma I feel like I have some semblance of control. This now feels a bit out of control.  But! After 9 years with myeloma, I think I am ready for this. I've been practicing social isolation and caution for a while now. In the vernacular of my erstwhile favorite writer Malcolm Gladwell, I'm done this 10,000 times so I'm good to go.

We've canceled all non-critical doctor appointments. I'm pretty healthy right now, so missing various appointments is not a big deal. My next labs and treatments are still 3 weeks away. I'm very curious how that is all going to work. I'm being super careful and avoiding contact with others. But I guess I'll have to walk into a lab facility. Or! Perhaps Dr Phan will have labcorp do pickups from his office. We already draw my blood at Phan's using my port.

Today should of been my regular Berenson visit, followed by lunch at my favorite deli. Canceled. Just last month, Leslie and I discovered a classic tiki bar in LA after the Berenson visit. That was a lifetime ago. Weird how fast things change.

And then, in the midst of all this, the Vikings trade away my favorite player and extend the contract of one of my least favorite players. Other moves they've made have once again made me ponder adopting a new team. Given we have no March Madness, I've created my own bracket to find that new team. Leslie shakes her head and says I can't abandon the Vikings now. I'm not so sure.

And to sum up lockdown 2020, I've made a master list of notes, tasks and to do's, in no particular order:

Altra has replaced Saucony as my go to shoe. O M G I got my first pair and my feet have never been happier. I'm walking the daylights out of my neighborhood with these shoes.

In addition to walking, I'm stretching, kettle belling and trxing.

pick weeds daily
finish taxes
learn to knit
work on repurposing projects
learn features of my camera
learn Spanish
watch tv

And two last points.  1) Please please please be kind to each other. These are stressful times. And now would be the time to reach out to the family member or friend  you've been thinking about. Just a simple little text checking in, goes a long way. 2) I continue, obs, to miss Gracie every minute of every day.


  1. INSANE what's going on... but thanks to CoronaV, the general public and entire world now has a taste of how we've survived and existed since our cancer Dx. So sad it took a tiny little cell to awaken the world to clean, sanitary behaviors, right! Stay well and safe Matt, and away from all the cooties! And yes, so on point... altho Myeloma may be an invader, and we feel out of control often, we have a semblance of control, cuz it's a "known" and it's treatable. CoronaV is totally in charge and that is scary right! (santized) xoxo


Berenson Oncology Success Rate

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