6 years later…doMMination continues!

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…

MMy Update

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…

Can you help me Speak up?

I have been encouraged by many people to (1) do more motivational speaking and (2) write a book.

Oh, how ironic this is for the one time kid who decided to study engineering for the sole purpose of not having to read, write or speak in class, let alone give a speech to a captive audience of more than two people, one being my mom. 
The fact I even blog as frequently as I do is nothing short of a miracle. I preferred calculus to pouring my thoughts into words, sentences, and paragraphs onto pages. Give me a soccer ball, football, baseball or even some crayons or a paintbrush; but a book, some reading glasses and some paper and pencils…no thank you.
With the resurgence of Myeloma in me, I feel a conviction to speak boldly once again. I have captured a perspective on life at such a young age that many people in their old(er) age are just discovering. In a lot of ways I feel very fortunate, while at the same time, feeling held captive to this disease inside of me. Speaking helps me process, it is very therapeutic, and brings me purpose to live with this disease and push to dominate it. In the end, I think there is a book here, but I need to live it out some more. I need to share the story some more to discover the pearls.
So I need your help. I want to speak, I want to share, I want to take this show on the road, so to speak, but I don’t know how. Yes, I have done motivational speaking at very large venues. I am experienced, but I have never pushed this, it’s all just happened. People request that I speak, and I speak.
I now want to be more proactive. I want to speak to large organizations and small; all who are interested. I want to speak to congregations and high schoolers, to blue chip companies and the latest non-profit. All of which I have done, but I want to do it more. More than ever, I feel a sense of urgency and an obligation.
How can you help? Well… I need some direction on how to move this forward. I don’t have an agent, I don’t have a website, I sure don’t have a book… all I have is my story. The story has been picked up by ESPN, NBC, Sports Illustrated and many news sources… all none of my doing. 
I do have a one pager that highlights my story, my experience speaking and gives some cliff notes on the message I bring. (check it out by clicking here
How do you advise, recommend, suggest I move forward in taking this show on the road? Well, not too much time on the road because I have a blossoming business (Go Torrent!) and a lovely family I need to focus on! (email any thoughts to phil @ cancerkicker dot org)

Thanks!! -Phil

Dear Tom

Letter to Tom Brokaw:

Tom-

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

Please Share:

What’s your Mountain?

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…

Would you go for two?

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.

This week I have let the decision to go for two really sink in, along with the final outcome, and I have learned a lot about myself.

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!




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…

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…

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 …