Thursday, November 10, 2011

Marines and Multiple Myeloma

There have been some rough spots during my last three years of treatment for multiple myeloma, but when it gets particularly bad, I think of a short-list of people or groups whom have shown extraordinary courage under fire, proverbial and otherwise. 
I remember other cancer patients (including my parents) whom have quietly shown me that there is no disgrace in being afraid in the midst of adversity. They've shown me that it is possible to face difficult times with dignity and grace; that to ask for help and understanding is not a weakness; that to reach out and help another person in distress, even while facing my own pain and uncertainty, is noble. They have taught me how to march forward.
Today in the United States we celebrate and remember the 236th Anniversary of the founding of the U. S. Marine Corps. 
I have known many very fine Marines in my lifetime. Men and women, Generals and Privates, active duty, retired and reserves. Wet-behind-the-ears youngsters just out of high school, college graduate professionals, CEO quality senior officers, family members, neighbors. Some I like personally, some I don't, but U.S. Marines one and all.
Almost to a person, they abhor war. Like me, they prefer peace. They have made a choice to put their lives in jeopardy to protect, promote and preserve the freedom of our country and for others around the world.
I have met Marines with myeloma. They have shown me how to summon a personal strength from within to fight and keep fighting against this cancer. Some have said that the duel with myeloma is scarier than conventional warfare, because the fighting is internal. You can't look myeloma in the eyes - you can't reason with it. You can't sit at a negotiating table and vie for compromise or surrender.
I view the battle with myeloma as a that - a battle, a war. Myeloma is a terrorist, an aggressor. My job is  to wage the best campaign against myeloma that my team and I can muster. As I have said before, myeloma is willing to take everything I value and hold dear from me. I won't sit idly by, because my time is running out.
Please, these thoughts are not intended to spark a debate about Marines or policies or anything political. I'm just sharing a bit about a special group of people whom have influenced me in my joust with myeloma.
Most importantly, Semper Fi and Happy Birthday, leathernecks! Thank you for what you do.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Myeloma Institute Treats Its 10,000th Patient

Hear ye, hear ye!

Congratulations are in order to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' Myeloma Institute  for Research and Therapy (MIRT) for hitting the milestone of treating its 10,000th multiple myeloma patient. Since MIRT's founding 22 years ago, patients have traveled to Little Rock from all 50 of the United States and more than 50 different countries.

I credit Dr. Barlogie, Dr. Nair, and the stellar team at MIRT for keeping me around to enjoy more time here on this Big Blue Marble of ours! Thank You! 

In case you didn't catch the link   

(Thanks to the UAMS News Service for this link)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

RIP Matthew Peterson

Please pray for the young family of Lutheran Youth Pastor Matthew Peterson . Matthew, 41, passed away this week from multiple myeloma and leaves behind a dear wife and two young daughters. This breaks my heart.

- link courtesy of the Chicago Daily Herald

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the native Ozark wild turkeys are getting a bit nervous. I see them darting around in the woods between my house and Table Rock Lake. They keep looking over their shoulders and conspiratorially talking with each other and pointing my way.  I think that they are the ones cooking up something.

I try to tell them that they needn't fear me because they don't have those little 'pop-up-I'm-done' buttons that have been genetically bred into the Butterball birds. Such interesting creatures - such little trust....

In the meantime, here's a link to some of my Thanksgiving Thoughts as recently posted at the Myeloma Beacon.

Happy belated Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends, Happy early Thanksgiving to my U.S. friends and Blessings to the rest of you around the world in your corner of Myelomaville!