12/11/14 – Somewhere at the Intersection of Happiness and ….

I have many reflections and thoughts over what transpired with my Cancer over the last few days.  One of the most interesting things is that upon returning home from the hospital, I was so happy and content to be home.  I didn’t want to be in bed.  I didn’t want to be in my room.  I wanted to be on the couch.  With the family.  Together.  I was just so happy.

And then I thought about it.  I was watching TV.  An old Seinfeld rerun was on.  The one where George and Jerry volunteer to take care of the elderly.  And George has a conversation with his guy:


He asks him:  “How can you be so happy when you are so close to the end?”  And I thought about my happiness.  And how that happiness intersects with the fact that I am living with an INCURABLE cancer.  Why am I so darn happy?

Let me give you one reason.  REMEMBER, this is not a blog about science.  It isn’t a medical blog that will discover the latest treatments.  It is a blog about how I view my life, my cancer and my road to remission.  So here is why I am so happy – at least one of the reasons:

When I got home I told the kids that Multiple Myeloma is defined or staged in four categories that spell out the word CRAB.

C = Calcium – when I got to U Penn Monday afternoon my Calcium levels were extremely elevated

R = Renal – kidney failure or disfunction.  Also, most likely because of the calcium levels my kidneys were out of whack

A = Anemia – Blood.  I have been anemic for awhile now.  Regular blood transfusions and low hemoglobins are the norm

B = Bones – We all know about my lesions and messy bones!  The least of which is the rod we are dealing with in the femur.

Well?  Why am I so happy then?  THAT’S IT!  I’VE HAD IT ALL.  In my mind, I told my children, I have taken everything that Myeloma can throw at me.  The C, the R, the A and the B – and I am still standing here and now it is MY TURN TO FIGHT BACK.  This is it.  This is got to be Myeloma’s best shot.  I stood tall like Ali on the ropes and dug in and now I am coming out punching.

Simple?  Yes.  Realistic?  Probably not.  I don’t care.  I believe it.  My wife and kids believe it and that is all that matters to me.

18 responses to “12/11/14 – Somewhere at the Intersection of Happiness and ….

  1. Brad, I too have had and continue to have my share of shit. I suppose all of us do at various times of our lives. Although mine is very different than yours, in my mind it is equally devastating. But I keep fighting and have been doing so for nearly 10 years and will probably have to for many more to come but I have never and will never give up. You too must also never give up. No matter how bad it gets, NEVER GIVE UP! You can be a survivor!

  2. You get me every time!! I am sitting here crying b/c I’m amazed at your strength, insight, and perspective! You truly inspire me to go out and fight whatever battles I’m dealing with! I am so happy to hear you are home and enjoying your beautiful family. Stay strong…rest…and know that SO many people are thinking of you and praying for you every day!!! xoxoxox

  3. Happy to know you my friend. You have such a huge cheering section from coast to coast and beyond:)

  4. Staying Strong you certainly are in a good fight with MM I read your blogs all the time your attitude is like mine I empathize with your battle If you can find the strength there is a very good MM gathering of people like yourself At HMC 12/18/14 1030 at cancer center on 4 floor We talk we smile we exchange positive vibes Ann McNeil from Siegel/Vesole office run the show Hope you can make it Gil My cell # 973-219- 0317 My second SCT was 12/10/14 I’m sill Staying Strong

  5. Brad I believe it. Your writing make us learn, cry, confused, well I could go on and on but most of all we are trying to be happy like you. You are unbelievable and we should all read, learn and try to be more like you and your wonderful family. Again thank you for all your writings.

  6. I know that Seinfeld episode way too well.The old man in the diner eventually gets up and leaves George sitting there with his sheer state of pessimism.

    With all of your tremendously insightful prior blogs, this one might prove to be one of your most thought provoking and accurate ones yet. It is so often true. When everything has been thrown at you, you rise. It is like the later rounds in Rocky III when he decides to just stand there and purposely take a Clubber Lang beating just to prove to himself (and show the opponent) that he can fight back with even more intensity because he couldn’t be hurt. It was at that moment that he rose to his greatest fight

  7. Hi Brad,
    I have been following your blog and regularly praying for you and your beautiful family. You have been VERY strong through all of this and a great, godly leader of your family. Thank you for sharing your journey to all of us, especially those of us in the Myeloma community. You are truly and inspiration. You are truly blessed with a beautiful and loving caregiver, awesome kids, and together a strong family!
    God bless you!

  8. BRAD – if anyone can “crack that dirty crab,” it’s you! Love ya, Cuz, and thinking of you, Helene and kids always. XO

  9. I have been following your blog from its beginning. I am amazed at your emotional strength and ability to express every emotion that you’re feeling. Your 25 minute movie with each of the members of your family showed how strong, verbal and insightful your two kids are. Needless to say, Helene is beyond wonderful. I feel that this blog is one that should be read by everyone because it is such an inspiration to always find that silver lining and concentrate on that each and every day. I thank you for expressing your feelings in such a beautiful way and your willingness to share them in such an open forum.

  10. Hi Brad, I have wall plaque I read every morning ” Don’t Cry Because It’s Over, Smile Because It Happened”….. My dear friend told me in the begining “09 (diagnosed) If I couldn’t reach for the Sliver Lining then grab a Sliver Thread and hold on tightly. Brad you sooooo inspire me, Wishing You A Sunny Day,

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