Friday, November 29, 2013

Go Bucks!!!

Okay, why would a Michigan Man, who has a block M tattooed on his heart, dare say Go Bucks the day before one of the greatest rivalry in sports takes place between Michigan and Ohio (State)?!?

Well...any place that wants to dominate Myeloma as much as I do has a room reserved in my heart.

It all started last Friday during a trip to The James (Ohio State's Medical Center) where I was meeting a couple of friends who shared the same passion to dominate Myeloma. They set up a meeting with Dr. Benson, Myeloma Specialist at Ohio State. They invited me, I accepted, and I soon found myself in enemy territory 8 days before the big game.

Dr. Benson offered to give my friend a tour of his facility, all his research and provide insight in how he intends to dominate Myeloma and find a cure.

With the last two blood tests showing a trace of Myeloma after almost two years of being cancer-free, I was willing to hear anyone out on their plans to kick Myeloma, even if it met traveling to Columbus.

The two hour time slot with Dr. Benson flowed over to three hours, and I must say, I left full of more hope than ever that the days of Myeloma are numbered, for me and the ~25,000 people in the US who are are diagnosed each year.

What I liked about Dr. Benson:

  • His Attitude: He is a former collegiate soccer player who has quiet competitiveness about him. You can tell, he is this fight to Win the Championship...a Cure. 
  • The Team: He has built a team  that consists of four Myeloma Specialists (that's a ton!) and 8 NPs (wowzers!) and has a number of bright minds in their graduate and fellowship program focusing on dominating MM. 
  • The Innovation: Having self-identified as an entrepreneur over the last few years, I appreciate innovation, especially in the area of Myeloma research aimed at zapping MM! Below is a top secret photo Dr. B revealed to us that shows Myeloma being doMMinated..literally. The top photo is some happy go lucky Myeloma. The bottom photo is its obliteration. 

With all this new found excitement and support of The Ohio State' Myeloma Research, don't be confused, tomorrow I want the scarlet and gray to be dominated, just like Myeloma. The passion I have to beat Ohio on the football field is much similar to the passion to kick cancer, but I am grateful that the shared passion that fuels this college football rivalry can be used to work together to dominate Myeloma for everyone!

Just to bring some balance to this post so folks don't think I am at all becoming a Buckeye, I want to give a major thanks to Jim Brandstatter and Coach Hoke for giving me the opportunity to continue to raise awareness for Multiple Myeloma this past Wednesday at Pizza House. Both schools are working to doMMinate this disease. 

Remember, Hope is sometimes found where you least suspect to find it or the last place you would ever want to look. Keep Battling, keep the Faith and Go Blue!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Our New, Old Reality

So, the results are back from UMCCC and there still appears to be a trace amount of Myeloma showing up in my blood test. Bummer.

Bummer because....

....I was really enjoying staying awake past 7:30PM because I wasn't so dawg gone tired every night b/c of the chemo
....I was hoping my children would never have to really experience our families fight with MM
....I was not expecting any sort of relapse for at least 5 years, if not ever
....I stopped thinking about Myeloma for 9 months and it was bliss
....I don't want to have to go back on chemo
....I spent 3.5 years dominating this thing and I was hoping that would be enough
....I don't want to give MM any more mindshare 
....I want to live a normal life of a 33 year old with a young family business is taking off and I don't want treatments to slow that

Here's the good news....'s a very small amount which should have little affect on my body didn't increase since the last blood draw
....treatments and research continue to advance
....I have it's number and I am ready to dominate it again

Life is so interesting. It is so unpredictable. I thank God for the great family and friends that have been placed in our life to help us through this next stage of the doMMination. 

Keep dominating life in your own journey. Overcoming challenges just gets you closer to the prize.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hope isn't a strategy...

..but it sure has been a motivator for me and my family as we continue to take on Multiple Myeloma, what is considered by most to be incurable.

Two months ago I got the difficult news that there may be a slight recurrence of the disease. This Tuesday I go in for labs to see if this is my new reality and whether the disease is again on the rise. Hope is powerful, it is critical and it's what helps push out the darkness in my life when this disease tried to pull me over to the dark side.

Life has been great, subtract my Michigan Wolverines struggling on Saturdays. My new job, which I took the leap of faith to join earlier this year continues to bring on new clients each month. We are always looking for more clients if you know anyone in sales and marketing who are looking to implement Salesforce or expand its capabilities! Like my new company on of my jobs is to grow our number of likes! :)

 Cassie and the kids are awesome. The highlight on the family front being our newest nephew who is already destined for U of M one day if his Uncle Phil has any say!

Finally, my health is great. For a while, my body continued to nag me every time I tried to go for a run. It seemed as if I pulled a different muscle each time I hit the pavement in my running shoes. Thanks to some great friends, I have transitioned to yoga. It's been a blessing and a great opportunity for me to regain physical strength, flexibility and even stamina...Yoga is no joke! I have also found the meditative peace to be very helpful.

Expect a post in two weeks providing an update on my Myeloma numbers. I am hopeful that they will be zero, but in the meantime, I will be dominating life with the family!