Today was my last dose of the ACY-1215. Tuesday we will take the Myeloma Markers and see how the drug performed. I don’t really know what to expect. I feel better later in the cycle than I did in the beginning part of the cycle but I thought it would have a more immediate impact on me.
Truth is … and sometimes as Helene tells me … I am too positive in this blog. I promised an HONEST account of my journey when I started writing and it hasn’t always been that way. Sometimes I just don’t want people to worry or pity me. Sometimes I need to keep my positive frame of mind and sometimes the pain I feel is just couched for other reasons.
It isn’t easy to hide it though. I spent most of this first cycle spent. Tired, out of breath, unable to talk or move sometimes. Part of that could be the plasmacytomas on the chest I discussed last blog post, part could be due to the lack of weight. Remember – I am down almost SIXTY pounds from my normal weight. It also is due in part to the pneumonia that just won’t go all the way away. I still cough from time to time. Sometimes badly. Sometimes enough to keep me (and Helene) up all night. Sometimes not at all.
Every day is a crapshoot. Like Forrest Gump says … “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.”
If I look at the negative side of this equation I see a man beaten down, bony, scrawny, two suit sizes smaller and not exactly confident in how I look when I leave the house or look in the mirror. I see a man who is a shell of what he once was – at least on the outside – and sometimes doesn’t have the energy just to even hang out.
If I look at the positive side …. I see a man with the determination of a bull who will not let Cancer beat him. I look at the improvement in myself – even just week over week. Take a look at these pictures. The first is from Victor and Olivia’s Pitch Perfect fundraiser (which by the way raised over $22,000 more than doubling their expectations!)
The second one is from just the other night. I worked all day on Long Island and then met Helene and my sister in law and brother in law Pamela and Robert in the city to see the Larry David Broadway show “Fish in the Dark.” It is an amazing difference (I think) week over week. I look as if I gained some weight. I felt stronger than I have felt in months. I think my posture is better. It was great to get out and spend some time with the family.
HOWEVER … spending all day in the car on Long Island, sitting in the theatre for a couple of hours straight, fighting traffic on the way home I really overdid it. I was up all night coughing. When I went in for treatment Friday I couldn’t even walk without losing my breath. It literally took me until today to catch up. I am still coughing a bit. The breathing is better although not perfect. BUT – I think if I rest today I will be able to enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend. Maybe I won’t get into a bathing suit just yet but will enjoy myself at the pool none the less.
If I don’t push myself I will never really know what I am capable of. That has always been my philosophy with Cancer. When first diagnosed, I would literally leave chemo infusion to coach a game or head to work. Heck … I even held two meetings in the treatment room with clients. Now? It is tougher. But I’ve got to push. Some days I will push too hard. That is just my nature. The days that follow that will be rest days. The trick is to find the balance. I need to find the baseline and work onward and upward from there.
I’m not going to lie. It isn’t easy. In fact, sometimes it downright sucks. I am frustrated because I thought I would feel better than this by now. I thought my strength would be back to 100%. Pneumonia got in the way. That shit will kill you. So, if you see me – give me a little encouragement – but be honest. I’m not 100%. I know that. I also know that in time I will get there. I just don’t know when.
We did a CT scan of the chest yesterday. I will update the blog again with those results when available. Today? Today is a good day. Yesterday was a shitty day. Tomorrow I will open the box of chocolates again. Here’s hoping I don’t get one of those rum filled ones.
Stay #bradstrong – I am good.