ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET…THE MYELOMA CHALLENGE

I’m 39 years old, no history of illness, Ironman finisher who has been diagnosed with myeloma. Did not see this coming. This blog summarises my journey from unexpected diagnosis through the treatment path. My aim is to use myeloma as a catalyst for living a better, more fulfilling life and documenting the changes I am making in all aspects of my family and work commitments.

Go Hard or Go Home

This is a very brief update to let you know the  current state of play.

Back pain is now partially under control thanks to a heady dose of 2 types of morphine, diazepam and paracetamol; manna from pharmaceutical heaven!

I had a visit from the doctors this morning who reiterated the positive results of the new chemo regime and we had a very good discussion about when my back will be operated on vs when the next round of chemo starts.

Looks like round 4 of chemo first, then the back operation. (pins, rods, cement…sounds more like a something they’ll be calling  a bricky in for) There was also chit chat around using radio therapy on my 4th vertibrae which is the mashed one. As that is the problem child they can, the theory goes, isolate it and give it a good kicking.

The plan was to start chemo next week (w/c 25th Sept) but I asked, given that every day that passes more skeletal damage will be occurring, why we could not start this week? The answer was to give me a break but I’d rather get going; the sooner I start the sooner I finish and less long term damage can occur.

So, we start round 4 of treatment  tomorrow. (Tuesday 19th Sept) (ironically, the day after IronMan ’16 when I got pneumonia which in hindsight, was the first overt sign of myeloma to be identified by the medics but not linked to cancer) It wont be fun but then a lifetime of dodgy bones wouldn’t be either. So at 04:41 on Wednesday 20th September I’m awake again penning my thoughts as sleep is not forth coming.

I also have another incredibly positive piece of news to share. The doctors did another paraprotein test yesterday before starting this round of therapy and have noted a further drop in paraprotein numbers from 42 to 33; thats before any new chemicals have been introduced so it is definitely working.

The new regime continues to kick the sh1t out of the cancer which is outstanding.

This gives me a lot of hope as the stem cell transplant looms large on the horizon. I’m not doing cart wheels just yet (can you imagine what that would do to my back?!) but the indications are good that we are getting the disease under control.

Yes, the side effects of pained back, aggressive cough and hungover feeling are still prevalent, but if that’s what it takes to get this in check so be it. At least I am in a state of health whereby I can be hit with the powerful drugs that other, less able individuals cannot.

Most importantly of all however, I’ll leave you with a quote from Ranulph Fiennes whose book “Fear” very much crystallises my belief in the power of the mind in being a key tool in overcoming the challenges life throws at you. A balance of a strong mind, body and medicine all complement one another to find a path to healthy future.

Entire books have been written about about ways of fighting fear, but my five decades of breaking world records through taking risks have convinced me that, with due respect to devotees of yoga, breathing and powerful drugs, successful control of your own mind gives you the best chance of winning the battle and even achieving the most enviable of states…being a happy human being.” 

Fear:Our Ultimate Future|Ranulph Fiennes|Hodder&Stoughton|2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. Tara 20th September 2017

    Way to go Pete your amazing!

    • Pete 20th September 2017 — Post author

      Thanks Tara. Hope life down under is still as fun as I imagine it to be. Still convincing Jen it is a good idea!!

  2. Louise 20th September 2017

    Fantastic news about the lowering numbers and a big thumbs up to you for taking the bulls by the horn and restarting chemo this week. You truly are an inspiration to us all. Take care my friend.

  3. Dave 20th September 2017

    20/09/2017.
    More great news about that nasty protein stuff Pete, you really do seem to be giving it a beating, well done you and the team.
    We are again full of love and admiration by the way in which you are grabbing this “Spectre” by it’s ears and “shechin’ it as they say here in God’s Country
    Another great win for the “toon” at the weekend, you must be inspiring them also,
    Love San & Dave.

    • Pete 20th September 2017 — Post author

      If we can both inspire each other then I look forward to a successful season!!

  4. David Winterflood 20th September 2017

    Mate – it’s a real double-edged sword reading your updates. I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through and how you are keeping such a tight rein on your approach to beating the sh*t out of this, however, your narrative and incredibly personal insights into the treatment and your current state(s) in each update must surely be so inspiring for anyone fighting similar battles. You are truly an amazing person Pete.

    I’m gonna start researching framers who specialise in stolen rugby socks.

    Keep going!
    David

  5. Alun Davies 20th September 2017

    Great news, man! Keep it coming! All the best for round 4!

  6. Brenda 20th September 2017

    Great news about the levels dropping Pete, lack of sleep could be due too either the chemo kicking in or just your minds reaction too everything. Do try talking too someone about everything, I think it helps, Lisa suffered with insomnia, found it easier after talking too me. Take care. Love too you all. Xx

  7. Trudy Hilary 20th September 2017

    Go for it Pete,
    We are all sending you positive vibes from York
    Trudy xx

  8. THE SMARTIES 20th September 2017

    Hi Pete,
    Really good news on the paraprotein level front – heading in the right direction at quite a pace now.
    You have all the right reasons to press-on with the next stage of Chemo although we can only guess what you will be going through…..
    We hope the ‘back-brace’ (can’t say ‘girdle’ really can we) is enabling you to move around a bit better without moving that 4th vertebrae too much.
    thinking of you.
    She & Jim

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