The Grudge Race

I took my Radio Controlled car, a Losi Short Course Buggy, when I visited my brother at the coast.  He has a Traxxas four wheel drive R/C gas truck.  I love the big fat tires on it.  At the beach, I was quickly putting parking lot dirt and debris in the air with the wheels of my little car while my brother was working at getting his gas motor started.  When he got it running, we had a lot of fun speeding and skidding out on the sand.  I challenged him to a straight line race from way over here to way over there.  It was a clean start, neck and neck as I slowly began pulling ahead, but by the ¾ mark, he caught and passed me.  I could feel it in my battery, I should have recharged between the parking lot and the beach.

I suggested a rematch, but he would savor his win for a year.  When I got home, I ordered another battery, one with extra punch.  Next year I would be ready…..   And there would be no burning up half the pack before the race!

With my next annual visit, the grudge race was on.  I had a C100 fully charged, and I resisted (most of) the temptation to speed up and down the sand until after my impending victory.  My brother had his truck making smoke in his garage before we headed out, and shortly it was running again at the beach.  Soon we were back on our imaginary starting line and he yelled Go!  With the kindness and humility of a loving big-brother, I won’t go on about how badly I beat him.  We’ll just say that it was my turn to savor the win.

RC Cars on the Beach

The race was over and I still had a couple battery packs to burn up, and that wide open sand was enticing.  We were Cat & Mouse chasing, drifting, fishtailing, and purely enjoying radio controlled fun.

Before long, I packed some sand against a baseball bat sized piece of driftwood for a jump.  My brother had to restart his truck several times, and ended up replacing three glow plugs that day.  Finally, it would not start, so I invited him to drive my SCB while I took pictures of it flying off the jump.  He liked it enough to consider going electric.  I can’t wait for the race next year!


This month I had my follow up appointment with my heart doctor’s associate.  Going in, my question and reason for seeing the doctor was, “Why do I get so easily out of breath?”  Does it have to do with the cancers, the treatments, or am I just getting old and out of shape?  The diagnosis and official answer: My stress test showed the possibility of a minor abnormality, but before further investigation, they suggest I lose weight, exercise more (get into better shape), and come back in three months for more tests.

I also had my three month appointment with my oncologist.  She used my favorite medical term (concerning the protein they test for because it’s a real good indicator of what the cancer is doing), “undetectable.”  I can live with that.



Real Good News Today

I stopped in for my monthly Oncologist visit and a quick (bi-weekly) shot in the chemo lounge – they have Velcade on tap. Test results and news from the doc isn’t always good, but you take what you get and do the best you can with it. Today I received very good news. The two main Multiple Myeloma cancer indicators the doc monitors are Light Chains and M-Protein. She said my Light Chains currently are “perfectly normal” and my M-Protein is undetectable (normal). The trend towards normal began in June. She also noted that I’m approaching one year of low dose chemo treatments. She said two years of this is the standard prescription. If things go well, I won’t be taking it the rest of my life.

I have a friend, Dave, who just had cancer surgery and will likely have radiation, and a friend, Diane, who is waiting for biopsy results. I wish I could share this report with them. I don’t mean share the news, I wish them similar results.

Thank you for your continuing prayers and support. I remain grateful to God for my every blessing.

Walking Again

I’ve been to the Oncologist for my “three month after the stem cell transplant” visit. The blood tests came back showing my M-Protein is now 0.2. That number has been as high as 1.8 in January, and down to 0.5 after Chemo treatments, before the transplant. The Doc said she wants me to begin taking a daily low dose of Revlimid. She said cancer patients taking this maintenance dosage have longer periods of time between transplants. I asked how many transplants I might look forward to. Just one more, she said. The bone marrow won’t support more than two. But, she continued encouragingly, if you get two or three years from this transplant, and two or three more from the next, there may be new treatments available by that time.

I found that I sleep best with my feet hanging off the bed, toes pointing to the floor. There’s no pressure from the blankets that way, and little discomfort. I’ve started walking to work again. It hasn’t increased foot pain, so maybe overall it’s good. We’re still working on the neuropathy. I’ve added three daily doses of L-Glutamine to my Multi B Complex. I’ve been taking it for a week or so, it might be helping a little. I will have a moment here or there when I realize that I have not been aware of pain in my feet for a full minute or more. That’s a (painless) step in the right direction!

You can’t buy a duel altitude, multi-range color hair style like this!

You can’t buy a duel altitude, multi-range color hair style like this!

Spin The Wheel

I left work at noon telling the guys I was going to my 3 month cancer check appointment to “spin the wheel.”  That’s kind of what it feels like.  Today the wheel landed on 1.29.  That’s my M-spike, or M-protein number, the main indicator the doctor watches to monitor this cancer.  Although my bone marrow biopsy in June had actual good news, today’s 1.29 (up from 1.2 in June, up from 1.0 in March) is not.  This prompted the Doc to prescribe another skeletal survey (a full body set of x-rays) to see if there are any bone lesions or tumors under construction.  I will go back in two weeks to discuss the x-ray results and the next step, if any.  Note to self:  Thank God for a wonderful year beyond the Multiple Myeloma diagnoses.  If I get more years, thank him for those also.

Living on the edge