6 years to the day, one day after turning 28, we were given the terrible news that there was some rare and incurable blood cancer detectable within my bone marrow. We were shocked, devastated and completely uneducated on the disease. So Cassie launched…
What does it mean when a Myeloma blogger doesn’t post in 4 months? Well….the positive reason is that they have returned to life, and Myeloma is but a mere distant memory.That’s our situation. Until now. Hence, I am blogging again.We had our thr…
Cancer Sucks. After hearing about my brothers resent update on MM (Multiple Myeloma) I have a constant thought in my head of cancer. Why? Why him? Will they find a cure? When will I have to say good-bye to my brother? I hate these thoughts, I hate thin…
I have been encouraged by many people to (1) do more motivational speaking and (2) write a book.
Letter to Tom Brokaw:
First and foremost, I am sorry that you have to carry this burden. My heart is with you and your loved ones, as are my thoughts and prayers.
One year after being diagnosed at the rare age of 28, I decide I need to (1) aggressively treat this disease and (2) open up to all that will listen to share my journey with Myeloma to help build awareness for a disease that doesn’t get much airtime, although it affects many each year.
I encourage you in being bold in your fight, but also helping all those who have gone before and will be diagnosed after. You have an opportunity to shed light on a disease that is dark, but is losing its power every passing year thanks to the advancements in treatments.
I went for the game winning kick almost 5 years ago (or maybe it was more like a two point conversion); which is the only way I know how to live due to my indoctrination as placekicker at the University of Michigan. We just recently realized that it didn’t produce a cure, and rather than winning in regulation, we are now going into overtime.
Simply put, I am both mad and sad. My kids are roughly 8, 6, and 4. I had hoped that Myeloma would be no more than a name given to my children’s Myeloma buddies that they snuggled with as very little ones. Now, it looks like they are going to be pulled into this journey as I begin treatment again. I feel like they are losing their innocence to this disease. I want them to fear not, Daddy is here, he will be okay.
Your diagnosis in a strange way brings more hope than ever to me; to thousands of others I bet too. One man once told me I was given this rare gift (of Myeloma) as an opportunity to bring hope to others. I wasn’t exactly sure what he meant at the time. I share the same word with you. You are strong enough to carry this burden, and through your journey, your story, you have an opportunity serve and help many. It’s a paradox, but I think there is some wisdom there.
Lastly, you have joined a faMMily of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and cousins; that you never knew existed. This coMMunity is loving, caring and they will be there for you every step of the way. Lean on theMM.
You will doMMinate, we are with you.
-Phil & FaMMily
When I think about my journey with an incurable cancer, I can’t help to think that everyone is dealing with some sort of cancer. Whether a broken relationship, an absent parent or a rare disease like cancer, we all have something that is nagging us, no…
Many people tuned in to the epic game between my love, Michigan Football and their bitter rival, The Ohio State last Saturday. It was a battle, both teams pushing hard towards victory. For Ohio State, their National Title hopes were on the line. For Michigan, restored dignity and a final home game for the Seniors who undoubtedly wanted to end their regular season and last home game on a high note, beating the Buckeyes.
So how did it end? Well, Michigan displayed it’s usual last minute heroics and drove the field to score the game tying touchdown with seconds left, assuming an automatic extra point from the kicker.
But wait….they didn’t bring out the kicker. In stead, the offense is on the field and they are showing signs that they are going for two! Wow, they make it, it’s a historic win, if they miss, well…they lose to rival Ohio State in dramatic fashion. I was at the game….the air got very thick in anticipation.
Ohio State not ready to handle a two point conversion, calls a timeout.
What does Coach Hoke do? Does he second guess his decision and put in his kicker knowing that Ohio State just burned their last timeout, knowing with in reason that this game has a very strong chance of going to overtime?
No. He turns to the Seniors and asks (paraphrased): “Men, what do you want to do?” Unanimously, they wanted to go for the WIN!
Of course, they go on to miss the conversion and Ohio State sneaks out of the Big House with a one point victory.
Mostly, I have learned that I am a “Go for Two” kind of guy. I pursue life wanting to take every moment to win right then and there, not hold out for a what-may-be victory. I want to seize it. I want to experience it…Now.
This can explain why I put my body through 3.5 years of treatment, including 7 cycles of a very nasty chemotherapy regiment, followed by back to back bone marrow transplants, 7 more cycles of chemo, followed up by maintenance chemotherapy.
This also explains why I am uneasy about seeing a trace amount of Myeloma in my blood. The current medical staff at UMCCC is not happy about the results, but there also isn’t a sense of urgency, a sense that we need to go for two if you will.
I cannot escape my Go For Two personality. I want to win the Championship, I want to win the Big Game…I want to be cured of Multiple Myeloma.
So where does that leave us? Oddly enough, I will most likely return to Columbus soon, yes, The Ohio State, to get some of their thoughts and opinions on where they think I should head. I also anticipate a visit or two to see Dr. J in Chicago and and Dr. Barlogie in Arkansas. Simply put, these Doctors are my ‘Seniors’ who I go to when I have to make the decision of whether or not to go for two…although I am like Coach Hoke, I always want to go for the WIN!
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…
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…
..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 …