Monday, March 25, 2013

Myeloma Mondays #49: Gilbert from Denville, NJ

If you would like your story of that of a loved one posted on MM for Dummies, copy and paste the questions below in an email and send your response to me at phil at cancerkicker dot org. Thanks for your willingness to share your story for others to grow in their knowledge of Multiple Myeloma!

Where were you born and raised? 

  • NYC, grew up in Glen Cove, NY
Where do you currently live? 

  • Denville, NJ
When were you diagnosed?

  • January 2010 (Age 61)
Did you know what MM was prior to diagnosis? 

  • No
Is there anyone else your in family with MM?

  • No
What led to your diagnosis? 

  • Extreme pain in hamstrings
How many times were you referred before actually diagnosed?
  • Once
Where have you received treatment? 

  • St.Claires in Denville, Hackensack Medical Center
Explain Treatments:

  •  2 weeks radiation reduce tumors on vertebrae 5 months of Revlimid and Dex, 2 stem cell transplants
Why did you or your doctor choose a specific treatment?
  • Strong health 61 years old very physically active
What has been the side effects of the different treatments?
  • Peripheral neuropathy in legs 
What has been the hardest thing about your MM journey?
  • second transplant very rough also the stress on my wife of 42 years without her guidance I would not have made it to this point
What are the top lessons learned that you would want a newly diagnosed MM patient to know about? 

  • Trust in doctors and be willing to listen to advise from caregiver
How have you been able to stay positive and encouraged in your MM journey? 

  • Very much so keep moving and push for physical activity adjust to different lifestyle of not working
After being diagnosed... What perspective was changed the most?

  • no fear of dying
Did you or a parent work in a field with or were exposed to toxic chemicals prior to diagnosis?

  • Yes
What MM sites or blogs had you found good information from after diagnosis?

  • MM Beacon 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 Update

While sitting in the Cancer Center at U of M, for what may have been my 100th appointment over the last 5 years, I could not help but feel a sense of gratitude. I felt thankful for the parking lot attendee, who always smiles at me like she was expecting me, to the medical staff that has had to put up with me all these years. I feel like we have all grown together and have continued to carry the same message of hope, that keeps us all keeping on each day.

As for my appointment, my bloods counts came back legit. Hemoglobin is the highest it has been in years. I attribute that to playing indoor soccer in the over 30 league every Monday night. That's right, I am back to playing not-so-competitive sports. My leg strength is not quite like it used to be, but I can still miss wide left like it is nobody's business. I am having fun with it and so are my teammates. In a recent game, a teammate of mine dropped the cancer card after I was tripped by an opponent. He said, "Dude, do you know he's a cancer patient?!?!?" 

Lastly, I took a leap of faith and decided to join a very close friend in helping him grow the business office for Torrent Consulting up in Michigan (website) (Like on Facebook) The company is growing quickly and the services seem to be in high demand. The job provides the flexibility to work from home, so that means more time with the family. I also plan to get more plugged in with the University and the Ann Arbor community, which rocks.

In short, 2013 has been good to us so far. -Phil