Ten years is in my rear view mirror. My disease is stable. Monthly infusion plus daily chemo pill keeps it that way. Every month I do my labs and have trepidation that my tiredness or aches reflect a changing disease status. Every month I wait for the results that say I'm going to have to change my treatment regimen. And (so far) every month (for the past 4 years), that trepidation is put to rest and I remain stable. Logically, I know that my tiredness is likely related to me waking up way too early most days to watch tv and drink coffee, followed by my workout. It's really no wonder I need a nap at 10 A.M.
For the first 7 years after my diagnosis, I fought and battled to remain a productive employee with a paycheck and insurance. All my daily energy went into this. Quality of Life was blah, at best. But now, three plus years after retiring, I wonder how the heck I did it.
Let me say that when you are diagnosed with an incurable cancer that has an average survival rate of just a few years, there is an expectation that all bets are off. Live like there is no tomorrow. But then you hit ten years and wonder what have you really done that is living life to the fullest. And hitting ten years also makes me feel like I better plan for a long future. Real life doesn't stop, even with a myeloma diagnosis. It's a precarious balancing act.
In October I will turn 60. Wow. In 1979 I was 17 and could touch the rim of a ten foot basketball rim. (Yes, I sound like an old guy reminiscing about the old days). It's an impressive feat, in my humble opinion, especially given I'm five foot ten inches at best. Last weekend I was at a house that had an 8 foot rim. I was feeling good and grabbed a small, palmable ball and attempted a dunk on that rim. And surprise, surprise, I dunked it. A couple of years ago, I had resigned myself to being achy and slow moving and I could barely get my feet two inches off the ground. But here I was (I'll spare the calculation) getting a 13 inch vertical. So I've made it my goal, that by my 60th I'll be able to touch a 10 foot rim again or at least get close. Meaning, I am adding 24 inches to my vertical leaping ability. It's a bit absurd to think this is possible, but whatever, I'm going for it. I'm getting lean, doing squats galore and climbing steps.
Why not? It's a good excuse for me to get into good shape. I have cancer, and I need to grab life by the horns while I can. Frankly, I'm a bit sheepish, that perhaps I haven't done it up to this point. But the time is now.
Hop to it!