12/17 – Regular

I did not get a chance to put something up here yesterday but not because of any other than I am just REGULAR.  This is an off week from chemo treatment so I don’t know what to expect.  So far I have had only one bad day and it was really just a bad morning at that.

Helene always says I need to update the stats more so here goes:

From what I can tell, what has been posted online in my charts at Mt. Sinai, I am progressing well.  My most recent blood work shows that every single measurement in the blood panel is within normal ranges (except protein which is slightly high) of where it should be.  Even the readings in the original blood work that were off are now back in range.  The protein reading which was above 9 originally is now down to 8.5 and 8.3 is the high end of normal.  I guess that is good.  What does it actually mean?  NOTHING.  REGULAR.  I still have cancer.

The more extensive blood work has not been posted online yet but I do know that the M-Spike, that is the ratio of different proteins in my blood is lower than it once was.  Not by much but lower.  It originally was 2.76 now it is 2.68.  It is supposed to be 0.  I think that’s good too.  But again – REGULAR.  There will be ups and downs.  Days to feel good and days not so good.  Today I feel REGULAR and that is good.

The only thing I know for sure is that I see Dr. J on Wednesday afternoon and I will learn more then.  My friend Jeremy turned me on to the fact that Mel Stottlemyre (ex Yankees pitching coach) has been living with MM for 12 years.  I read an article about him and have adopted his treatment philosophy.  He told his doctor exactly as I tell mine:  “I will be the best patient I can be.  You be the best doctor you can be.  And together we will beat this.”  

I feel great.  Yesterday I went to the gym, 30 minutes on elliptical, light weights, saw my Sunday morning workout buddies, picked up the kids at Sunday School, continued to make horrible fantasy football decisions thus losing my semi final playoff game and then had our entire family over for dinner.  REGULAR.  REGULAR is the best thing right now.  

Today I will work, coach basketball and go to my board meeting at the JCC.  I will be regular. I expect to be that way and I will share the news from Dr. J on Wednesday afternoon.

I guess some days aren’t philosophical days – some days are factual days.  I tend to get more philosophical when I am coming down from the steroid anyway.  The one bit of philosophy I have today is that cancer sucks.  Not only for the ones who have it but for everyone around them as well.

Spending time with Helene’s family yesterday makes you realize how much this disease affects everyone around you.  We were supposed to leave Wednesday for a family trip to Israel.  EVERYONE – Helene’s parents, sisters and all of their families.  We are not going.  Everyone else is.  Cancer forced me to miss this trip but it also forced my family to miss it as well and that makes me sad.  Sharing those moments with our family is one of our greatest joys in life.  When families get together everything is intensified.  Our love, our friendships and our idiosyncrasies are magnified.  When you face mortality everything is magnified even more.  And when one of us is confronted with trouble EVERYONE ELSE has your back.  

My wife’s sister is a breast cancer survivor.  She has been there.  My wife’s other sister left her office in the middle of the day to sit with me during treatment.  My brother in law is an ophthalmologist.  He has spent more time over the last month studying Multiple Myeloma than ophthalmology.  And my other brother in law is one of the most caring guys I know.  He helps me be REGULAR.  He calls, checks in and hugs probably better and harder than anyone in the family.  I am so sorry to miss this trip and share the experience with everyone.  I am even more sorry that Helene and the kids will miss it as well.  Thats why we have to beat this now.  There are too many more trips, too many more memories to create and we have too much more to share with each other and I am not – WE are not – missing anything ever again.


3 responses to “12/17 – Regular

  1. As a survivor of blood cancer I know how you feel. I am happy to tell you that I know 2 Long term survivors of MM and you are younger and stronger than both of them. Your attitude, I am sure makes all who love and surround you strong and positive.
    Cancer sucks, but you can beat it.
    Remember me.

  2. Reading your blog, I’m learning what a courageous, insightful, honest and great-hearted man you are, Brad. You are beating this disease by cherishing the important things and people in your life and you’re setting a remarkable example for the rest of us. All my love, Aunt Susan

  3. Thanks for mentioning Carolyn and myself in your blog. Your family is here to support you. We’re so sad you cannot join us on this trip. I’m going to leave a message in the Western Wall for you to find the next time we all go to Israel. Stay strong!! We love you.

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