Holy fucking shit. And I mean that in a good way. That's what I think when I really sit to ponder what the heck has happened in the last ten years. In 2011 at about this time, I was in Las Vegas, sweating, shivering, feeling like I was going to die. And not from losing big or drinking to much. Instead from a disease that I didn't know I had and certainly hadn't heard of. I flew home early from that trip and was soon thereafter hospitalized with severe anemia. I was discharged on May 1. Went to the doctor's office on May 2 with Leslie and my mom and was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and the rest is history.
Year 1 was the toughest. We couldn't find drugs that worked and I was about ready to throw in the towel. Years 2-7 were no picnic. I relapsed a couple of times, worked full time and in hindsight, was barely functioning mentally and physically.
Years 8 - current have been good. I'm on Darzalex and it's the best drug I've been on. I feel good. I am almost embarassed to say so. I shouldn't crow when others are struggling. I shouldn't crow, so I don't jinx this good run I'm on.
I'll say this though: I've been working on building muscle. I looked in the mirror the other day and realized I have zero leg muscles and no ass. And that's bullshit. I 'd been prepping for using a walking stick to help stand up and kneel. But I'm focused on being a kick ass cancer patient and nearly 60 year old. I am so damn weak and I'd accepted it. I'm still super heartbroken about not summiting Kilimanjaro. I let people down. And I really let myself down. I know that it had only been 3 months since a relapse that the climb took place. But I thought I could simply do it...as I had for most of my pre-cancer life. Climb Mt Whitney? Bike a 100 miles? Just buckle down and do it. But not now and not four years ago with Kilimanjaro. It makes me so mad at myself.
I have to work harder than ever on everything now. I need to think, focus, push, communicate and so on. Yet here I am. I'm trying to live right and enjoy life. I miss the old Matt, but I don't miss the old Matt. If that makes any sense.
Anyhoot, this weekend, I am going to ride my bike to my old office building. In early 2011, I knew something was wrong when my daily commute by bike got more and more difficult.
And I'm going to rebuild my legs and glutes and strength.
I'm raising funds for the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research in honor of my 10th cancerversary. Without them, Berenson and my amazing medical team and loved ones, I wouldn't be venting right now. I'd be silent. Chip in if you can. I know times are challenging so any amount helps fund important research into new treatment and finding a cure. Thank you all for convincing me to keep writing and sharing. follow this link to donate or join my virtual 10K!1
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